O’Dea calls for co-ordinated strategy for Housing Body purchases

Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea

FIANNA Fáil TD Willie O’Dea has tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister for Housing regarding the trend of Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) bulk purchasing complete housing developments in Limerick and around the country.

“It came to my attention from a constituent that Approved Housing Bodies were bulk buying a number of new build developments in Castletroy,” Deputy O’Dea told the Limerick Post.

“I was already concerned about the situation on the northside of the city, so I contacted the Council to ask them if there was a strategy in place to ensure a good mix of future housing developments to allow potential owner occupiers to purchase houses in these new estates and to avoid the mistakes of the past in Limerick, whereby there was an over concentration of social housing in certain areas.

“Three months later and I have failed to get a response to my query, despite several requests. This has led me to conclude that it’s possible that senior Council staff haven’t thought through a strategy to avoid the mistakes of the past.”

The Limerick politician is flabbergasted that we have a situation where potential homebuyers will not be in a position to privately buy or rent any of the new homes in a number of developments in Castletroy.

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“I have tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister for Housing on the issue, as I am very concerned that these government-funded Approved Housing Bodies are now in competition with owner occupiers, especially when they bulk purchase homes before they even hit the market.

“This is just not fair on young Limerick people attempting to get on to the property ladder and companies and businesses in Limerick have told me that they are concerned that their employees will continue to struggle to find houses to rent or buy in Limerick if this policy of bulk buying persists.

“We need to get the Council and AHB’s to build on Council and State-owned land and not just take the easy option of bulk buying from developers.

“If this cycle continues, we will lose many young people to emigration and we will see an even bigger housing problem down the line if a co-ordinated and well managed strategy is not put in place urgently.”