‘No Link’ Between Housing Bodies

Nenagh Town Council has pointed out that there is no connection between a Northern Ireland social housing association that has fallen foul of the authorities in the Six Counties, and the company that has been charged with the management of the new Castlewood development in Nenagh.

Nenagh Town Council has pointed out that there is no connection between a Northern Ireland social housing association that has fallen foul of the authorities in the Six Counties, and the company that has been charged with the management of the new Castlewood development in Nenagh.

Helm Housing, one of the biggest social housing companies in both parts of Ireland, has been suspended from developing more homes in the North after it was discovered that they had built an apartment complex worth around £1m without planning permission.

According to information on the Irish Council for Social Housing website, Tuath Housing is the new name for Helm Housing in the Republic, but it states that Helm Housing is not connected to Tuath and is unaffected by the name change.

Helm Housing states on its website that in 2000, it was given approved status for voluntary housing under Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 in the Republic.

This is a separate association with shared services. Helm Housing is registered with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and is a member of the Irish Council for Social Housing.Nenagh town clerk Donal Purcell told the Tipperary Star this week that as far as they were concerned Tuath Housing was a separate legal entity to Helm Housing and they expected everything to go ahead as planned in Nenagh, though he pointed out that contracts still had to be signed.

The Castlewood estate was developed on land between Melrose and Cormack Drive.

Meanwhile, it was reported in the media in Northern Ireland last week that Helm was suspended from developing housing by Social Development Minister Alex Attwood after it built the mostly taxpayer-funded apartment complex on the gas works site in Belfast.

The complex remains unoccupied, and there have been rumours that the site is contaminated.

Helm maintains that it was told construction could begin in 2007, but planning approval has not yet been granted.

Minister Attwood told the Northern Assembly: “I instructed the oversight team to conduct an in-depth examination of the association.

“Its work has been extensive and exhaustive and of worry.

“It has led to my decision to suspend the housing association from the development programme.” A review of Helm Housing, which has been in existance since 1975, is expected to be published soon.