Six houses lie vacant for past twelve years

By Maurice Garvey 

SIX homes lying vacant in Clondalkin since being built in 2006 are being investigated by the Department of Housing, but it is unclear if they will become available any time soon.

The three-storey homes at Station Grove fell under the remit of the Vacant Homes Strategy – a scheme announced 12 months ago by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to progress the delivery of vacant homes back into use.

station grove use compressor

The houses lying vacant (File pic) 

However, the properties are privately owned by a developer and authorities cannot say if any progress has been made in the investigation.

The Echo understands a housing association attempted to purchase the properties from the developer but this ultimately fell through.

Mayor of South Dublin County Mark Ward has labelled the site a mini ghost estate and said it is “scandalous” the situation has dragged on for so long in the midst of the housing crisis.

 “We often think (ghost estates) are solely in rural areas, however we have six vacant homes in the middle of Clondalkin and over 8,000 people on our social housing list,” he said.

“Since built in 2006, that is 12 years plus without any families occupying them. This is scandalous in the current climate.”

The Echo asked the Department of Housing about the Vacant Homes Strategy and if there was any turnover of vacant homes in Dublin to date.

A spokesperson for the Dept. of Housing referred to the July 26 publication of the National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy 2018-2021.

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: “SDCC is aware of these units and currently they are being investigated in line with the Vacant Home Strategy.”

A spokesperson for Respond told The Echo: “We were never involved in the possible acquisition of these houses, we believe it may have been another approved housing body.

“We would be happy to consider acquisition of these houses if details were available to us.

“Perhaps it is being mixed up with another five units nearby which we did acquire and which have been happily tenanted with families.”

Mayor Ward said he has not been able to find out an outcome to the Housing Department investigation.

With no solution in sight, Mayor Ward is urging SDCC to start pursuing a compulsory purchase order for the vacant homes on Station Grove.

He said: “I don’t really care why the developer did not progress, I want the full law of the land brought forward on this developer so that these houses can be used to house people on the social housing list.”

Mayor Ward is advising families with notices to quit to remain in the home until they can find something citing “full hotels and hubs, Housing Assistance Payment not working, and few social houses available.”

“The Government need to bring in legislation that will prohibit property developers to idly sit on properties like these.”

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