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Counting refurbished short-term voids as new housing units ‘significantly inflates Department social housing output figures’ – Ó Broin

4 December, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said the Department of Housing must halt the practice of counting refurbished short term voids as new housing units as it is significantly inflating the Department’s social housing output figures.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The Department of Housing is claiming that it is increasing the total stock of real social houses when they are simply moving one tenant out and another tenant in. This is incredibly misleading.

“For example, according to response to a parliamentary question in November this year, the Minister said that 531 voids in the Dublin City Council were brought back into use in 2016.  

“However, according to information in the Irish Times today, DCC brought 901 voids back into use in 2016, but only 297 of these were vacant for more than six months.

“I am strongly of the view that the Department of Housing is not bringing as many voids back into use as new social housing units as it claims.

“The Department’s own numbers do not add up.  The NOAC report for 2016 said there were 4,202 long term voids in 2014. In a PQ reply in November, the Minister claims that 8,512 local authority voids were returned to stock between 2014 and 2017.

“There’s clearly a discrepancy between these two sets of figures and the government has to explain why.

 “I will this week during questions to the Minister in the Dáil ask him to clarify the counting of voids and to provide an assurance that there was no double counting of regular voids and long term voids in his annual social housing output figures for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.” 

Note: Please see attached the PQ in question

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