Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Vacant Properties Data
206. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of vacant housing units his Department has under its control; his plans to bring these units back into use; the timeframe for them to be made available for housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40859/17]
Statistics in relation to social housing stock are gathered by the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) in their annual reports on Performance Indicators in Local Authorities. These statistics are set out by local authority and include the percentage of such dwellings that were vacant at the end of the year, with the last year for which the statistics are available being 2015. This report is available at the following link: .
Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966 provides that the management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including the implementation of planned maintenance programmes and carrying out of responsive repairs and pre-letting repairs is a matter for each individual local authority. However, my Department has provided support to local authorities to return vacant social housing units to productive use and make them available for re-letting in an energy efficient condition at a reasonable cost. The Department’s funding is to support the authorities in tackling those houses that may require a greater level of remediation than the normal level of pre-letting repairs that is the responsibility of local authorities as part of their on-going repair and maintenance of local authority housing.
These targeted measures focus exclusively on vacant and boarded-up properties with the objective of returning these to productive use as quickly as possible over the period of the programme. Retrofitting is undertaken on properties selected by local authorities on the basis of unit cost, the extent of local housing need and the age/condition of the property. Since the commencement of the programme in 2014, over 7,300 properties have been remediated and a further 1,400 units are expected to be returned to productive use this year.