Coveney and Noonan must act to bring vacant homes into use
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has described as “shocking” the news that 230,056 homes across the state are vacant. The figures were contained in a Housing Agency report prepared for Government.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“There are 6,000 people officially homeless including 2,000 children. There are up to 130,000 households on local authority housing waiting lists. Rents and house prices are spiralling out of control.
“We have been told repeatedly by Government that the central cause of this housing crisis is an under supply of housing, particularly private housing.
“And yet the Housing Agency have prepared a report for Government detailing up to 230,056 vacant houses across the state. These figures do not include holiday homes.
“In Dublin there are 7,995 vacant houses and 16,321 vacant apartments. Yet rough sleeping is on the rise.
“In parts of Dublin, Cork and Galway city, the vacancy rate is as high as 25%, ten times higher than the international average.
“The Housing Agency Report outlines various options used in other countries to reduce vacancy rates including a vacant home tax. In addition to exploring these options Government must also consider the purchase of these units by Local Authorities, using Compulsory Purchase Orders if necessary.
“It is simply not acceptable for Government to sit on its hands and do nothing about vacant properties when so many families are in severe housing need. I will be writing to Ministers Coveney and Noonan this week asking them to outline their plans in response to the Housing Agency report.”