Nearly 4,000 vacant homes remain across South Dublin – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on CSO census figures which indicate that there are still nearly 4,000 homes vacant across South Dublin County Council. Deputy Ó Broin has said that while this figure is down on five years ago it is still unacceptable ‘at a time when over 200 households in the County are homeless.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Despite the census figures showing a marginal drop in the number of vacant properties nationally, 198, 358 is still an unacceptable high number of vacant properties.
“In the South Dublin County Council area, there are 3,923 vacant properties. While the rate of vacancy in South Dublin is 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. Private sector rents remain unacceptably high and affordable housing is a dream for many.
“The Housing Agency Vacant Homes Paper published in May this year recommended a number of measures to incentivise and force owners to bring these units back into use. These measures include refurbishment grants, compulsory purchase orders and a vacant property tax.
“The Report of the Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee endorsed the recommendations made by Housing Agency. This included recommending that the Government should develop an overarching two year strategy which would include each local authority performing an audit and producing and empty homes strategy with clear aims and objectives.
“Finding ways to return as many of these vacant properties as possible back into use would make a dent in the current severe housing deficit. The properties could be used to get families out of emergency accommodation and off the housing list.
“South Dublin County Council is already using compulsory acquisition powers to bring some vacant sites back into use. However the Minister for Housing must allocate more to the Council to allow them to acquire a greater number of these units.
“The Minister also needs to incorporate all of these recommendations in the final version of his national Action Plan for Housing. It is not too late to improve on the draft plan and close the gap between the recommendations made by the cross party Dáil Housing and Homelessness Committee and those in the draft plan.”