Dereliction of duty from Housing Ministers on empty homes

Ivana Bacik TD
09 November 2023
  • Dublin City Council projects that 660 fewer voids will be turned around between 2024-2026 due to lack of funding
  • DCC seize just 25 derelict homes in five years

Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has expressed her alarm at the utter failure of Government to put in place a plan for tackling vacant and derelict homes.

Questioning the Ministers in the Dáil today, Deputy Bacik said it is a dereliction of duty by Government to hand over all responsibility on tackling empty homes to local authorities without adequate funding streams in place.

Deputy Bacik said:

“Despite the vast number of empty homes lying vacant and derelict nationwide, this Government is failing to grasp this low hanging fruit to ease the housing crisis immediately.

“Under questioning from me in the Dáil today, the Ministers attempted to pass the buck and the blame to local authorities. However, we know that local authorities are massively underfunded and under resourced to meaningfully tackle the scale of the problem.

“Dublin City Council’s Budget Consultative Group has recently been notified by the Housing Department that it that it will be further reducing central government subvention for refurbishment from 25% to 20%.

“Figures received by Labour Councillor for the South West Inner City Darragh Moriarty from Dublin City Council projecting that 660 fewer voids will be turned around over the period 2024-2026 “as a direct result of Government cutting central funding.”

“Our concern is that this is not only a Dublin problem, and that this lack of funding and support is replicated in local authorities nationwide.

“There has been a systematic reduction in funding from a high of 65% back in 2018 – at a time when construction costs are increasing and when the need for social homes is more pressing than ever.

“We all agree that local councils need to be allowed to get back building and providing social and affordable housing if we are to address the housing crisis – the civil rights issue of this generation. Yet a new report of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe has found Ireland’s local government to be among the weakest in Europe.

“Now, Fianna Fáil are further weakening local powers by cutting its funds to turn empty sites into homes for people.

“It beggars belief. In February, Dublin City Council has seized just 25 derelict homes in 5 years. Councils need to be supported to get people into secure homes of their own.

“There is an abject failure, and indeed interest, from Fianna Fáil to address this crisis head on and give local authorities the resources and teeth needed to bring more homes into supply for those who need them.”

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