Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Local Authority Staff Data

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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1239. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of additional staff allocated to each local authority to bring vacant homes back into use. [3488/20]

Photo of Eoghan MurphyEoghan Murphy (Dublin Bay South, Fine Gael)
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Under Pillar 5 of Rebuilding Ireland, which aims to ensure that existing housing stock is used to the maximum degree possible, the Vacant Homes Unit was established in 2017 within my Department with the primary aim of driving and coordinating actions at central and local government levels and to support local authorities in identifying vacant properties.

Since 2018, my Department has secured funding of €50,000 per annum for each local authority to support the work of a Vacant Homes Office. The provision of central funding reinforces the capacity of my Department’s Vacant Homes Unit to liaise with and seek information/statistics from a dedicated contact point within each local authority. The Vacant Homes Office plays a key role in the co-ordination of this work within each local authority.  The allocation of personnel to Vacant Homes Offices to ensure completion of the work of the Vacant Homes Office is at the discretion of each local authority.  Each local authority has appointed a Vacant Homes Officer.

Contact details can for all VHOs can be found on my Department’s website:.

The role and range of duties of the Vacant Homes Office/Officers within each local authority includes (but is not limited to);

- tasks that support, implement and further develop, update, monitor and review the progress of local authorities’ Vacant Homes Action Plans and actions to address vacant private housing,

- establishing a co-ordinated approach towards the implementation of the Action Plans within each local authority,

- undertaking initial vacancy assessment exercise (drilling into available CSO / GeoDirectory data),

- carrying out or co-ordinating visual inspections / assessment of residential properties in their administrative area, with a view to identifying possible vacant recoverable homes,

- identification of the registered owners of the properties deemed to be vacant from inspection, and contacting the owners on the options available to assist in bringing their properties back into use for private or social housing purposes,

- serving as a contact point for dissemination to members of the public (including landlords), assistance and information on residential vacancy and the schemes available to re-introduce their homes into the usable housing stock,

- serving as a contact point for dissemination to interested parties of the ‘Guidance on the Reuse of Existing Buildings for Residential purposes’ (published in December 2018); and

- the collation and provision of vacant homes data to my Department’s Vacant Homes Unit on an agreed timely basis.


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