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07 Dec 2021

Offaly residents going without maintenance as housing body receives millions

Offaly residents going without maintenance as housing body receives millions

Offaly residents going without maintenance as housing body receives millions

The issue of maintenance for a number of residents in Offaly has been raised in the Dáil.

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan raised the ongoing maintenance problems impacting 26 houses and apartments in Chesterfield Close in Birr with the Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke.

Deputy Nolan was questioning the Minister on the level of oversight conducted by the Department of Housing for Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), such as Respond, who are responsible for the construction of the affected homes in Chesterfield Close:

“The central question I had for the Minister is why basic insulation maintenance needs for these residents are not being addressed by a housing body that has been in receipt of €250 million, mediated from his Department to Local Authorities, since 2016?

Minister Burke stated in his reply that a new strengthened regulatory regime for AHBs has been put in place.

This Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority, AHBRA, was formally established on 1 February 2021 to encourage and facilitate better governance, administration and management of the AHB sector.

"Yet eight months on the residents of Chesterfield Close have yet to see any real-world impact of the better management model that the Minister says is in place," Deputy Nolan said.

"It is absolutely vital that we respect the great work that AHBs do but it is also critical that we hold them to account when they continue to fail residents on basic issues such as insulation.

"I will continue to press this matter for the residents of Chesterfield Close until it is fully and satisfactorily resolved,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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