A €15m fund to bring vacant local authority houses back into use has been launched by Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan.
Local authorities have been asked to submit their proposals for funding under the scheme by 28th March next. Minister O’Sullivan will then make allocations as soon as possible afterwards and it is expected that the fund will bring approximately 500 vacant local authority units back into beneficial use this year.
Speaking about the initiative, Minister O’Sullivan stated: “Increasing the supply of social housing is a priority. This €15m fund will turn some 500 empty units into high quality homes for people in need of housing.
“Given the demand for social housing we need to ensure that no home is left vacant. Vacant housing cannot be tolerated – it deprives a family of a home and the vacant unit can often become a focal point for nuisance and anti-social behaviour. Tackling this issue will provide much-needed homes and enhance local communities. Funding will be allocated on the basis of equitable and evidence-based criteria which will reflect the merit and cost effectiveness of proposals and the degree of local housing need.
“With the support of Minister Brendan Howlin the Government will invest €15m in the scheme this year. The investment will also create jobs in the building and green energy sectors in local communities. Local authorities that access the fund will be encouraged to use the services of community based organisations who recruit and train long-term unemployed people for some of the required works.”