Publication of the 2017 Annual Progress Report on Actions to Address Unfinished Housing Developments
“Number of ‘ghost’ estates further reduced by 91% since 2010”
Minister for Housing and Urban Development Damien English TD, today (7 March, 2018) published the sixth annual progress report and seventh housing survey on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments.
This reveals a “91% reduction in the unfinished developments since 2010 from almost 3,000 to 256. 2017 saw the resolution of 165 developments”.
Minister English was speaking at the launch of the report that includes the results from the 2017 National Housing Development Survey which tracks progress on unfinished housing developments since 2010. Among the key findings of this year’s survey are:
Minister English indicated that his objective is to resolve all remaining unfinished housing developments especially those within high market demand locations and strive for 100% turnaround.
The Minister acknowledges the results of the 2017 survey which indicate that the parts of developments that are occupied are, in the vast amount of cases, now well established and finished to a good standard. Minister English added “in the last twelve months we have resolved 165 developments and intend to build on that success with a further push in 2018 to resolve as many as possible of the remaining unfinished developments.”
Local authorities and on-the-ground teams have excellent local knowledge and have signalled that a number of sites with ‘unfinished’ elements are now coming back in for new planning permission. In a number of cases this was at pre-planning stage and throughout 2018 should move on to the determination of planning applications clearing the way for development subject to developer capacity, funding and demand.
Unfinished Housing Development teams established in local authorities to address the ‘unfinished’ issue have gained enormous experience and knowledge in matters of successful resolution from enforcement through to bonds and effective collaboration with receivers and financial institutions. This knowledge and expanded capabilities can also now be applied towards matters of Taking in Charge and Vacant Homes Action Plans with the need for Empty Homes Officers.
In conclusion, the Minister signalled that “in the last twelve months we have resolved 165 developments and intend to build on that success with a further push in 2018 to resolve as many as possible of the remaining unfinished developments. I am very pleased with the progress made by my Department and look forward to working with Department officials and local authorities in reducing the number of unfinished developments further throughout 2018.”
The Summary Report is available here; http://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/unfinished_housing_developments_-_2017_annual_progress_report_0.pdf
Castle Court apartments in Dublin’s city centre was officially opened today (December 4th 2018) by Minister Damien English, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
The Housing Agency purchased the apartments using a €70m revolving fund established under Rebuilding Ireland, the Government’s action plan for housing and homelessness. Following refurbishment, the Housing Agency transferred the properties to Peter McVerry Trust. The Trust expect that all the new residents will be in their homes before Christmas.
Castle Court is located close to Christ Church in the heart of the city. This development is a modern 4 storey apartment building built in the 1990’s. It contains 13 homes comprising of 7 one-bed apartments and 6 two-bed apartments.
Speaking about the project John O’Connor, CEO of the Housing Agency said: ‘It is a good day when people, who have been in temporary accommodation, finally get the keys to a new home. We are delighted to assist Peter McVerry Trust, and other housing bodies, in the delivery of much needed homes’.
See below the order of presentations on the day.
Topic 1. GOOD FUNDING MECHANISMS FOR ACHIEVING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Dr Gerard van Bortel, Assistant Professor Housing Management, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
The role of the Council of Europe Development Bank
Dr Luigi Cuna and Mr Samir Kulenovic, Council of Europe Development Bank
Funding the right balance: Affordable rental and homeownership
Ms Kath Scanlon, Researcher, London School of Economics
Irish Respondent and Group Discussion
Professor Michelle Norris, Head of School, UCD
Topic 2. FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN AFFORDABLE RENTAL AND AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP
The role of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Dr Gulnara Roll, Head of Housing and Land Management Unit, UNEC for Europe
Irish Respondent and Group Discussion
Mr Aidan Culhane, Director of Housing, Urbeo Residential
Topic 3. THE IRISH MODEL OF COST RENTAL AND GERMAN AFFORDABLE HOUSING POLICIES AND CHALLENGES
The Irish model of cost rental being introduced
Mr Barry Quinlan, Principal Officer, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government
German affordable housing policies and challenges
Dr Steffen Wetzstein, Senior Researcher, Brandt School of Public Policy, Germany and
Mr Rolf Müller, Head of Housing and Property, Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development
Topic 4. HOW CAN RESEARCH BE USED TO INFORM AFFORDABLE HOUSING POLICIES?
Dr Jaana Nevalainen, Ministerial Advisor, Ministry of the Environment of Finland
Research evidence on housing affordability in Ireland
Mr Conor O’Toole, Senior Researcher, Economic and Social Research Institute
Irish Respondent and Group Discussion
Mr David Silke, Director of Research and Corporate Affairs, Housing Agency
Speaking about the seminar, John O’Connor, CEO, of the Housing Agency said ‘The Housing Agency is a centre of excellence in research to inform policy development. We realise the importance of learning lessons from Europe and sharing these with practitioners and policy makers in Ireland. We are delighted to welcome some of the top names in current European research to our event today’.
The reports by the Housing Agency and Amárach Research are divided into two separate reports.
The main concern emerging from the data analysed is the issue of affordability and the high number of people, especially renters, experiencing difficulties meeting their monthly housing costs. Two-third of renters and one-third of those repaying a mortgage said they experienced difficult making payments each month. Other findings from the survey were as follows:
Satisfaction with your home plays a central role in happiness over the course of people’s lives. For greater accuracy in the survey factors taken into account included the house itself, the neighbourhood and whether the house suited the stage of life each respondent was at.
Speaking about the research David Silke, Director of Research said, “Every day we hear stories about housing issues. Stories about the supply of housing, the affordability of housing, the availability of land or long commutes. But we rarely stop to ask people what they think about their own housing situation, so we wanted to measure satisfaction levels across Ireland.
While satisfaction levels are mainly high, one significant concern coming from this research is affordability, especially for renters, and we need to continue to work to address this”.
This report details 19 case studies of housing for older people across Ireland with varying scales of support services. It showcases best practice examples of housing projects developed / being developed. The report includes lessons learned from schemes developed and managed by local authorities, housing associations and by the private sector.