IBRC windfall marks last chapter for local housing estates

Taken in charge: An Mhainistir in Claregalway

The entity born out of the country’s two bad banks during the financial crash is finally doing some good in Galway – providing funding for the taking-in-charge of 17 housing estates.

The IBRC (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation), which came about as a result of the merger of failed Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society, is transferring some €1.126 million to Galway County Council this month.

The funding is for the taking in charge of 17 estates in County Galway, and it will be included in the Council’s programme of works for the remainder of this year and 2019.

The windfall was revealed in a memo to County Councillors, giving an overview of the local authority’s work in taking in charge estates in County Galway.

So far this year, eight estates have been taken in charge by Galway County Council including Árd Aoibhinn in Monivea, An Mhainistir in Claregalway, Árd Breeda in Loughrea, Cedar Avenue and Forest Glade in Portumna, Carraigweir in Tuam, Cedar Court in Williamstown, and Millbrook in Milltown.

A further eight estates are due to be taken in charge before the end of the year including Owenriff in Oughterard, the Paddocks in Killimor, and Oak Glen and Slí Esker in Ballinasloe.

Hilltop Close and Elm Court in Tuam are due to be taken in charge this year, as is Cobble Drive, Loughrea, the County Council report said.

Taking in charge is the term given to the assumption that the Council assumes responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of public services and infrastructure.

To date this year, more than 35 estates have received some level of funding from the Council, which allocated €100,000 to taking in charge estates this year.

“The monies received through the Council budget allocation is an invaluable source of income for historical estates, of which there are many, where there is little of no bond monies available to bring estates across all five municipal districts,” the report said.

There are currently 34 developments in the process of being brought to taking in charge standard with works being funded through Bond monies.

The taking in charge section of the Council engages with Bond holders and with developers to ensure the estates are completed to the required standard “for the benefit of all, especially the residents.”

Staffing changes at the Council have impacted on the taking in charge of estates, the County Council has conceded.

“The Taking in Charge section is a small unit working on a large number of estates across the county. Staff changes have taken place in the last year, including a full change of technical staff within the section. These changes in personnel impact on delivery and the taking in charge of estates but every effort is made to ensure that impact on delivery is minimised where possible,” the report said.