100 new houses for Limerick pledged
One hundred new houses will built in disadvantaged parts of Limerick this year under the city's regeneration scheme, the government has said.
Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan said money would be made available for the construction of homes in Vizes Court, Wallers Well, Southill, Lord Edward Street and College Avenue, Moyross.
Last month, her Cabinet colleague and Environment Minister Phil Hogan admitted it was "a scandal" that not one new house had been completed under the much-trumpeted regeneration plan since it was announced five years ago.
Ms O'Sullivan said the partnership between the regeneration agencies and Limerick City Council would also be replaced by one office.
"This amalgamation will accelerate the delivery of regeneration," she said. "All of the key decision makers will, for the first time ever, be working in the same office."
A one million euro fund is to be set up for community initiatives that contribute towards regeneration, which will be managed by the new Office for Regeneration.
The four main areas of the city targeted for regeneration are Moyross, Southill, St Mary's Park and Ballinacurra Weston.
Addressing local residents at the Southill Area Centre, Ms O'Sullivan said 4.2 million euro of public money has already been set aside for 29 homes for older people in Vizes Court.
They are expected to be "substantially completed" by early next year, she said. "It is critical that the regeneration programme in 2012 moves on from demolition to construction, from relocation to rebuilding communities," the minister added.
Following an archaeological examination of sites in Nicholas Street, another 12 homes are planned there while 33 units already being built at Cliona Park are due to be completed later this year.