Peter McVerry Trust call for tax exemption on the sale of empty houses to housing associations

Peter McVerry Trust call for tax exemption on the sale of empty houses to housing associations

A tax exemption for the sale of empty homes to housing associations is among a number of pre-budget submissions from the Peter McVerry Trust.

The homeless charity says this should be combined with the introduction of a tax on vacant properties.

But as a temporary measure, owners selling properties to Approved Housing Bodies should be exempt from Capital Gains Tax.

Peter Doyle, the charity’s CEO, said Government efforts to provide incentives such as the Repair and Lease scheme were not working.

Under this scheme local authorities renovate vacant properties and rent them out on behalf of the owner with the cost of works deducted from the rent.

But Mr Doyle said the take up for this scheme has been “very low”.

He said: “Peter McVerry Trust is calling for a balance of incentive and punitive measures to be implemented in order to bring much needed houses back into use. We are urging the Government to quickly bring forward an empty tax or levy based on a property’s value”.

He said the core demand of the charity’s 12 point submission is more social and affordable housing.

The charity is predicting that the number in homeless accommodation will reach 8,300 by budget day on 10 October.

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