Respond Housing Association announces purchase of housing estate from NAMA

Respond Housing Association has recently announced that it has been approved by NAMA for the purchase of the uncompleted estate at Oakley Wood, Tullow, Co Carlow. This estate currently has 55 housing units for completion. This project is the first exclusively social housing NAMA project in the country to be taken on under the new private finance model of funding.

Though the acquisition costs through NAMA are €2.5 million, the full costs of the entire development will not be known until tenders are received. This tendering process is expected to be completed by early August and works will commence on site soon afterwards. Respond itself will raise most of the finance needed from private sources and negotiations on the matter with the banks have reached a satisfactory conclusion. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is finalising its approval for its Capital Advance Loan Facility (CALF).

The 55 units are in various stages of non-completion; several are virtually fully complete while others require significant work. Respond has employed consultant engineers, David Kelly Partnership, to thoroughly examine all the 55 units and assist Respond’s own in-house architects in preparing a tender for the completion works. The original planned number of units by Neville Brothers Ltd in the estate was 111 units. Of the 55 dwellings in existence, 8 are 2-bed units, 37 are 3-bed units and 10 are 4-bed units.

Respond acknowledges the assistance of Carlow County Council in undertaking this project and in formalising the Payment and Availability Agreement and will work closely with its Housing Department ensuring that those families in need of housing in the area will be properly and speedily assessed.

Respond has provided some 50 dwellings in the Tullow area at a cost in excess of €5.2 million in Slaney View Drive and Francis Farm. This project will bring that number to 105 in total and provide employment over the next number of months for upwards of 40 persons.