Houses in Mountrath could be avilable to the people on Laois County Council's waiting list, but not before extensive work has been carried out to overhaul the buildings.
Tenders have been invited by the Oaklee Housing Association from building contractors to bring eleven unfinished properties back into use in the Cluinin Housing Estate.
The contract consists of the completion of units which are partially constructed. The eleven units consist of ten three bedroom houses and one two bedroom house.
Some of the windows have been vandalised. The buildings are roofed and sealed with windows and doors provided, however, internally, work remains incomplete. Site works to the front of the properties have been completed, however, site works, boundary fencing and landscaping to the side and rear of the properties remains incomplete.
Connections to services are also incomplete.
In the tender, Oaklee says making good of works previously completed is required throughout the buildings and the buildings are in various stage of completion.
Laois TD Brian Stanley took Oaklee to task in January over its intentions for unfinished homes. The Sinn Féin TD said the buildings had been vacant for three years in Oaklee's ownership and two years since approval was given to use them for social housing, with Laois County Council nominating tenants.
In a statement to the Leinster Express at the time Oaklee said it purchased the 11 properties 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,” it said.
Oaklee said Laois County Council had been kept informed of the issues with this development throughout 2016. It anticipated that work on the units would be completed in June 2017 when it look forward to welcoming new tenants. Deputy Stanley welcomed this week's news and said the houses were badly needed as there is a long council waiting list.
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