A housing association has rejected claims that it is doing nothing with houses in Mountrath while people wait on housing lists.
Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has labelled 'scandalous' that houses in Cluainín Estate, Mountrath have been vacant and vandalised. He claimed they have been in Oaklee Housing Association has owned the properties for the past three years.
However, in a statement to the Leinster Express, the housing association dismissed the Laois TD's claims.
“Oaklee purchased the 11 properties (family homes) located in Cluainín Estate, Mountrath, Co Laois in November 2015 as part of a receiver sale. Following the purchase of the units, an architect was appointed to oversee the completion and detailed inspections revealed a number of critical issues with the “as constructed” timber frame units.
"The delay in allocating these properties is unfortunate, however, Oaklee must ensure tenant safety and compliance with the building control legislation. Laois County Council has been kept informed of the issues with this development throughout 2016 and we anticipate work on the units will be completed in June 2017 when we look forward to welcoming new tenants,” he said.
It is understood that substantial work has to be carried out the will cost will into six figures. Some of the damage to the homes was the result of anti-social behaviour.
The association said it is an Approved Housing Body that has delivered over 200 units in the last 18 months throughout Ireland. It added that the Mountrath houses would be made available for people on Laois County Council's waiting list.
It said it We are helping to address critical housing need through a comprehensive programme that includes completing of unfinished estates, developing new projects and keeping people in their homes through our Mortgage-to-Rent scheme.