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Carlow estate to become first Nama social housing project

Fifty-five houses in the Oakley Wood estate in Tullow have been purchased by housing association Respond.

AN UNCOMPLETED ESTATE in Co Carlow is to become the country’s first Nama social housing project following the approval of a sale to housing association Respond.

The housing association has purchased 55 dwellings at the Oakley Estate in Tullow, Co Carlow, at a cost of €2.5 million – but has noted that the full cost of the development will not be known until tenders are received.

Announcing the purchase, Respond said that the tendering process is expected to be complete by early August and that works will start soon afterwards. The association says it has reached satisfactory negotiations on the matter with the banks, and that it plans to raise most of the finance needed from private sources.

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is currently finalising approval for its Capital Advance Loan Facility.

There are currently 55 units in various stages of non-completion at the Oakley Estate. Respond says that several are virtually completed while others require “significant work”.  Consultant engineers David Kelly Partnershi, have been employed to examine all the 55 units and assist Respond’s own in-house architects in preparing a Tender for the completion works.

Respond has been working with the assistance of Carlow Co Council in undertaking the project and says it will continue to work closely with the  Housing Department to ensure that approximately 93 families in need of housing in the area will be appropriately assessed.

Eight houses in the estate are occupied by families who bought at the height of the property boom, according to the Irish Times.

To date, Respond has provided 50 dwellings in the Tullow area (Slaney View and Francis Farm) at a cost in excess of €5.2 million – and says that the project in Oakley Wood will provide employment for upwards of 40 people over the next several months.

Read: Housing Minister gives green light to 800 new social and voluntary houses>

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