Local Authorities have transferred more than 1,500 affordable housing units for use as social housing in an attempt to address the excess of unsold properties following the downturn in the housing market. With the current climate the demand for affordable housing, a scheme that was designed to provide homes at a discount to the market price for people who could not afford to buy a home on the open market, has more or less collapsed.
Figures provided by the Department of the Environment and Local Government show that, at the beginning of February, there were 1,565 units on the books of the 34 local authorities, 407 which were in the process of being sold leaving 1,158 houses on the hands of the various councils.
The highest number of affordable units available lye on the books of the four Dublin local authority areas with more than 500 affordable housing units available for sale. The council said it was looking at a number of ways to reduce their affordable housing stock and were proposing six ways in which to utilise the remaining housing stock which include: sale under the incremental purchase scheme; transfer of houses to the rental accommodation scheme; use as temporary accommodation for social housing applicants; sale; rent to buy and use for other purposes.