Local Authorities reject almost 90% of vacant homes offered

Almost 90% of vacant houses and apartments offered to local authorities have been rejected.

New figures in today's Sunday Business Post reveal that of the 1,860 units offered to county and city councils, only 241 have been accepted.

Some 977 of those offered to housing agencies were units repossessed from their original owners by banks.

The Government is facing increasing criticism regarding the issue of housing, as it was revealed earlier this week that more than 8,000 people are homeless throughout the country.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson John Lahart has said: "The rejection of such a large number of houses and apartments by local authorities shows the dysfunction at the heart of social and affordable housing policy.

"At a time when fewer than 400 social homes were built by councils nationwide in 2016, it’s preposterous that local authorities are turning down over 1,800 units.

“What’s even more worrying is the fact that despite the housing crisis being most acute in Dublin, not one of the local authorities in the Greater Dublin area completed a single social housing unit in the first quarter of this year.

“There is anecdotal evidence that one of the main reasons that local authorities are refusing these units is because of policy directives from the Department of Housing which aim to prevent an overconcentration of social housing in any one area. However, these guidelines need to be more flexible in the context of the current housing emergency; otherwise any sort of progress will be curtailed.

“Local authorities should also be given the freedom to acquire properties from financial institutions or NAMA and use them as they see fit, rather than being stymied by rigid Departmental rules. If they were given more leeway we could see some of these idle units used for social housing, while others could be rented out. As it stands at the moment, councils’ hands are tied by the Department.

“Council executives need to be trusted with greater autonomy and more responsibility and held accountable if they do not deliver.

“There should also be a review carried out by Department, and made public, about why so many of these properties were turned down”.

Related Articles

Fr Peter McVerry: ‘Evictions are a return to famine times’

Room swap a novel solution to ease rental crisis

Government commitment to social housing criticised

'We need to bring back an affordability scheme like we had in the past' - Housing Minister

More in this Section

Children's Hospital applies to omit water sprinkler system from fire safety measures

Police hailed for bravery after rescuing man from car in Lough Neagh

Fianna Fáil calls on Government to publish pension report

Refurbished Bewley's Café 'to feature chocolate factory and bakery'

Today's Stories

No Government jet for freed Halawa

Garda officers may sue for right to strike

Rail unions vote for industrial action

‘We are on our knees after this ... we need help’


A helicopter put a piano on the 150-foot roof of Blarney Castle and other stories from the Cork Jazz Festival archives

Jazz Memories: Famous faces share their favourite moments

Live music review: The Horrors - Icy genius in a thrillingly intimate setting

Choosing a sheltered spot for Maples is vital

More From The Irish Examiner