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Focus on vacant homes ‘welcome, but only part of the solution’ – Ellis

14 August, 2017 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin TD and junior spokesperson on Housing Dessie Ellis has welcomed Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy’s commitment to tackling the number of derelict properties present at this time of abject crisis in housing.

Deputy Ellis highlighted the work that his party colleague Eoin ó Broin TD has done in highlighting the issue and also the policy document which Deputy Ó Broin recently published.

The Dublin North-West TD said:

“Sinn Féin’s ‘Vacant Homes’ policy was published in June 2017 and called upon the government to take an ambitious approach to dealing with vacant homes.

“A key recommendation was the hiring of dedicated vacant homes officers within local authorities and asking them to engage owners to encourage them to return their homes to use. These officers should build up a vacant homes register and be working to a vacant homes plan.

“The Minister appears to have adopted this recommendation and this practical step is to be welcomed if it is implemented in practice.

“However, the government is not doing enough to keep families in their homes in the first place. A comprehensive vacant homes plan is but one measure that is required.

“Sinn Féin has long argued that rent certainty should be introduced. Until this is achieved, the rent pressure zone legislation should be extended to the entire state. 

“In step with this, the government must significantly ramp up its real social housing delivery targets in line with the cross-party Housing and Homelessness Committee report, which stated that government should be delivering 10,000 real social housing units per year via local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies.

“While this renewed focus on vacant homes is welcome, it is only one facet of a much more complex problem.” 

Note: Please see attached the ‘Vacant Homes’ policy document. 

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