Vacant Home Tax is not bringing more homes into supply

Ivana Bacik TD
07 November 2023

Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik TD said Government’s failure to implement a strong vacant home tax is contributing to Ireland’s chronic vacancy problem, with far too many properties nationwide continuing to lie empty.

Deputy Bacik said:

“It’s galling to walk around communities nationwide and see the level of vacancy and dereliction. Homes are lying empty while adult children continue to live in their parents’ house, with little to no hope of being able to afford a home of their own.

“We know that supply is the big issue when it comes to the housing crisis. It’s scandalous that we have such an enormous untapped supply of housing lying empty. Fianna Fáil’s failure to tackle this head on is disgraceful.

“As in many aspects of this Government’s record on housing, the approach to vacancy and dereliction has been abysmal. It has been marked by short-termism and not delivery.

“The Vacant Home Tax simply isn’t enough to address the real scourge of dereliction.

” For bigger companies that are speculating on property, measures like this will not be enough to ensure the release of empty homes back into the market.

“Fianna Fáil don’t even understand the scale of the problem, as there are massive discrepancies in vacancy figures.

“The Local Property Tax returns indicate 57,206 vacant properties, the Census estimates that the number is closer to 166,752, excluding 66,135 seasonal holiday homes.

“CSO figures based on electricity usage suggest an even higher number of vacant properties.

“The lack of evidence-based policy making when it comes to housing is driving this crisis even further. How can Government properly address this huge supply issue, when it doesn’t even know what it’s measuring?

“These discrepancies underscore the need for a more robust approach to identifying and addressing vacancy. We cannot rely on self-reporting alone to determine the true extent of the issue. We need to see a central register created and maintained.”

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