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5,000 Vacant Homes in South Dublin – Urgent Action Needed – Ó Broin

24 May, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

New figures released to Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD by the Housing Agency indicated that over 5,000 homes are vacant across South Dublin County Council. Deputy Ó Broin has said that ‘at a time when over 200 households in the County are homeless it is unbelievable that so many homes remain empty.’

Deputy Ó Broin said:

‘The Housing Agency has conducted research on the number of  empty homes across the state. The report, which has been presented to the Minister for Housing and the Dáil Housing Committee, has revealed that as many as 230,000 homes across the state are vacant.

‘In South Dublin County Council area there are 5,225 vacant properties. While the rate of vacancy in South Dublin is one of the lowest in the state it is still a shocking figure.

‘There are more than 200 homeless families in the county. There are 9,000 families on the Council waiting list. Rents in the private sector remain unacceptably high and the cost of purchasing a home remains beyond the reach of many.

‘Returning as many of these vacant properties as possible back into use would be of enormous benefit to all sectors of our housing system. They could be used to get families out of emergency accommodation and off the housing list. At the same time bringing them back into use would help reduce the costs of renting and purchasing homes in the private sector. 

‘The Housing Agency recommends a range of measures to incentivise and force owners to bring these units back into use. These include refurbishment grants, compulsory purchase orders and a vacant property tax. All of these options must be explored.

‘South Dublin County Council is already using compulsory acquisition powers to bring some vacant sites back into use. However the Minister for Housing must make more funding available to the Council to allow them to acquire a greater number of these units.

‘At a time when over 2,000 children across the state are homeless allowing such a high rate of vacant dwellings in not only unacceptable, it is a scandal."

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