Minister for Housing must provide vacant houses strategy

25 May 2017

Labour Party spokesperson on Housing and Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has called on Minister for Housing Simon Coveney to urgently produce a strategy for vacant houses.

“This morning I was shocked to hear that 12 homeless families, including 30 children, had been sent to Garda stations because there was no accommodation for them. With nearly 200,000 vacant homes in the State, it is a disgrace that after over a year in office, Minister Simon Coveney has yet to produce a vacant homes strategy.

 “I have been saying for some time that a quick and easy way to deal with this is by making use of the near 200,000 properties that are lying vacant across the country.

“Broken down, this amounts to around 27 empty homes for every person in emergency accommodation.

“I have also been calling for the Government to bring forward the Vacant Site levy by one year to tackle this crucial issue of supply. On top of that there has to be a tax on homes left vacant for years while people sleep in parks or on the streets.

“While there has been much goodwill towards the Minister for Housing’s ‘Rebuilding Ireland Plan’, it’s becoming more evident that it is not delivering the homes that are so urgently needed.

“Simon Coveney must now prioritise a vacant houses strategy. Labour will be tackling these issues at our housing forum next Tuesday in the Mansion House.”

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