Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, today (28 November, 2012) said, “there was steady, quantifiable progress in tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments.” Minister O’Sullivan was speaking at the launch of the 2012 National Housing Development Survey. The survey has been tracking the extent and condition of unfinished housing developments since 2010.
Among the key findings of this year’s survey are: A decrease of 37% in the number of unfinished developments since 2010, 27% decrease in number of vacant units since 2010, 296 developments effectively resolved in past 12 months.
“The 2012 National Housing Development Survey reveals steady, quantifiable progress in tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments. A renewed focus by all stakeholders, including local authorities, developers, lenders and local residents, is working and communities are benefitting. Since the survey was first commenced in 2010 there has been a 37% decrease in the number of unfinished developments and a 27% decrease in the number of vacant units. The past 12 months have seen nearly 300 housing developments resolved.
“However I am still keenly aware that hundreds of families are still enduring the stress and strain of living on an unfinished development. At present 1,770 developments remain unfinished. While that is substantial reduction on the 2,874 developments identified in 2010 it still indicates the scale of the challenge. The focus of the Government’s actions will now shift to resolving these developments, of which approximately 1,100 or so are in a seriously problematic condition.
“Recent experience has demonstrated how a realistic approach to estate completion involving all stakeholders can deliver results. I expect that approach will go a long way to resolving difficulties on the vast majority of remaining unfinished developments. However, it must also be recognised that some of these developments are commercially unviable due to location, demand and build quality. The most prudent course of action in relation to these developments from a public safety, planning and commercial perspective is to seek the agreement of owners/funders to clear the site and return it to some beneficial use. My Department will be working with stakeholders to develop a response in relation to this issue over the coming months with a view to having a plan in place by the end of Spring 2013.
“Another priority is the matter of taking in charge of substantially completed developments. In the past two years more than 1,200 developments have been substantially completed. The next immediate priority is for developers, funders and local authorities to work together in finalising the process of having the developments taken in charge by the local authority. Other substantially complete developments, mainly apartment and multi-unit schemes, will be maintained by management companies controlled by residents.
Minister O’Sullivan concluded by thanking the various stakeholders including residents, local community organisations, lenders, developers and state agencies for their continued engagement with this issue.