Almost 19,000 completed new properties lying empty
THE Department of the Environment revealed this week that almost 19,000 completed new homes remain unsold in so-called ghost estates across the country -- but the number is falling.
The new statistics show almost 4,500 houses and apartments have been occupied in the last year, but 18,638 units lie empty.
The National Housing Survey also reported that more than 800 developments have been finished since the last survey in 2010, with works funded by bank receivers, NAMA, local authorities and developers.
Meanwhile, there are about 100,000 households on the local authority housing waiting list, up from 58,000 in 2008.
However, NAMA has no specific legal obligation to help resolve the social housing problem. And a spokesman for Nama said it doesn't own properties. "NAMA owns loans which are secured against properties, which includes residential properties in ghost estates," he said.
"There are developers, there are borrowers, there are companies who own these properties who have loans that are now in NAMA.
"We are working with the Department of the Environment and Local Government to identify units which might be used for social housing."
A spokesman for the Department of the Environment added: "We can't come along and take what we don't own."