Should empty, unfinished houses, ghost estates be demolished?

Should empty, unfinished houses, ghost estates be demolished?

Should empty, unfinished houses, ghost estates be demolished?According to a few sources & reports released earlier this month the stock of empty homes in Ireland soared 30% in the three years through 2009 and it is now estimated there are between to 345,000 and 352,000 vacant houses in Ireland.

Bad-bank NAMA aims to buy €80billion of property loans as part of a government plan to free up lenders but has warned only one third of loans – €27bn of the €81bn to be taken over by NAMA are functioning with debtors paying money owed or at the very least some of the interest on the loan. As a result, NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance this week that it may be forced to knock down unfinished property developments outside Dublin…“We may well be faced with the very difficult decision of perhaps knocking down certain developments”. …

On hearing this, Aoife Walsh, spokesperson for the Respond Housing Unit urged NAMA to only consider knocking down empty and unfinished houses as a last resort, “Waiting lists for local authority accommodation are rising and NAMA should now deliver on the promised social dividend… It could be argued that the only real housing market at the moment is the social housing market as private demand has been virtually wiped out,” she said.

Have your say

  • Should NAMA knock down vacant, unfinished and unused properties built during the property boom?
  • Or should these properties be put to some other use e.g. Social housing?
There are 15 comments for this article
  1. Tracey Walsh at 5:41 pm

    I am currently doing a photographic project on unfinished housing estates.
    I would love to interview anyone who has bought properties in such developments.
    If you are interested in taking part in my project
    please mail me your contact details, address and a summary of your particular situation.
    Many thanks

  2. Tracey Walsh at 5:21 pm

    I am currently doing a photographic project on unfinished housing estates.
    If you live in one of these developements and would like to take part in my project email your contact details, address and a short note on your plight.
    Many thanks

  3. hugh at 4:26 pm

    should the banks not hand over some of these estates as payback for the massive loans they got off the government….as builders who couldnt flog these houses ran into difficulty and had the houses repossessed…..this would also eliviate some of the pressures for councils obtaing housing for people who need it

  4. Hugh at 4:21 pm

    werent alot of these houses repossessed by the banks also as the builders went bankrupt because no one was buying???…. my point is, since the government has pumped huge amounts of money into the banks, should the banks not hand over some of these buildings to the government to pay back(i’m assuming they have to pay the government back)some of this debt and this would also free up housing for councils…….

  5. Running at 5:29 pm

    The only people who would want to knock down these properties are the same ones who were trying to sell them in the first place. By knocking them down those who made millions in the boom, will be able to decrease supply, thus create an artificial demand in order to increase prices. This is a scam, and any one who is proposing to to this is a crook.
    Even in environmental terms its disgraceful. What a huge carbon waste.
    The people who bought the houses at the top of the boom were foolish and deserve what they got. I remember traveling to ireland in the boom heyday and all over there thought it would never end and boasted how rich they were. Now they cry foul. Please. But anyone trying to knock these or asking for this to happen is only doing do for profit or personal gain.

  6. Martin at 9:08 pm

    Currently, there are 80,000 + people on the social housing waiting list. Instead of demolition Derby, provide these vacant houses to them at a 1/3 of their take home pay or social welfare allowance pay thus resulting in 352,000 vacant houses minus 80,000 social housing waiting list.. abolish rent allowance.

  7. David in Dublin at 10:29 pm

    A house without amenities that create communities such as nearby schools, shops, bus routes, or even in some cases street lighting and pavements will cost the country dearly in terms of the extra money it needs to pay out. These aren’t free houses. That’s not including the repairs for the vandalism they likely have. Katrina showed the world that estates with only a handful of houses create crime-ridden ghettos, not free social housing.

    So pile the cash into social housing projects were communities are most likely to form… but don’t fool yourself into thinking 100% of this housing is viable without 100 of millions Euro of more spending.

  8. Paulne at 5:09 am

    It would be scandalous to knock these properties down, especially since there are so many people willing to rent or buy. Social housing or rent to buy would be the best option.
    Let’s not waste any more money.

  9. Dave at 3:49 am

    This is a unique situation in Irish social and economic history. All the rescources that were put into building these houses etc. It would be a real pity to just pull them down. Where it is viable, some of these developments should be handed over to county councils and the like as social housing. Registered Irish families on local authority housing waiting lists etc should be given a chance to buy an affordable home.

  10. jacqui at 11:41 am

    They should be given out as social housing, some people are very shallow and seem to think people on the social housing are undesirables but in actual fact its the total opposite, can anyone give me 1 reason why they shouldnt be given to social housing?

    • Elzer at 2:53 pm

      I totally agree with these being used for social housing, housing should not be demolished it should be made available for social housing and i am currently fighting with the council to make property’s like these available for over crowding needs…. If these where made available the council’s would not be able to tell people “there are no new builds, you will have to wait for a property to be handed back” How many years will that take???? Come on stop being “Haters” people, and Become a community again.
      Do you want to see people living below the poverty line? Do you really think your better than someone who has hit hard times and in need of social housing and homeless….. If your that educated you would know it will save millions to house people in these propertys as would take people off the rent allowance scheam…..

      WAKE UP……

  11. jheannie at 5:37 pm

    loads of people in need of housing,go for rent to buy.

  12. Daniel at 8:20 pm

    why not rent them out??? rent-to-buy, or give under affordable housing scheme (NOT social housing!)

  13. Connor at 3:12 pm

    Why knock them down?

    Surely there is a demand for social housing.

    Create employment by building new schools and creches in the area.

  14. Daniel at 2:22 pm

    Sell them for €1 each, knock them down but dont make the long suffering tax payer even poorer by converting these badly located houses into social housing. The ongoing maintenance costs of these jerry-built piles will be huge.

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