Tuesday, 18 June 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I will address the second question first. If there is a house in Cork city that has already been refurbished and is lying idle, that should not be the case. It is nothing the Department would be part of. If the house is already fixed then it is not waiting for money. If the Deputy wants to give me the address of the house I am very happy to check that out. That is not something we would stand over. I want to be very clear on that.
The other question related to Kerry County Council and to the other local authorities. A voids programme has been in place for the past three to four years. The guts of 10,000 houses have been brought back into use. They had been lying idle for many years and were brought back into use under Rebuilding Ireland. They have all been refurbished. As late as October 2018 every local authority had been written to to clarify that there was funding available to bring forward any voids and empty houses. There is no excuse for houses to be delayed and it should be possible in most cases to turn houses around in a number of weeks. In some instances, it can take longer due to local operational issues. The funding, however, is available for any local authority. I am not aware that Kerry County Council has an outstanding application for additional funding. If there is, I will have to check that. I want to be very clear that we do not want long-term voids and the money is there.