Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Local Authority Staff

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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81. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the reason there are only three full-time vacant homes officers in the State with none in County Cork. [23532/21]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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In the first instance, the allocation of staff within a local authority is an executive matter for the Chief Executive of that local authority.

Each of the 31 local authorities has a Vacant Homes Officer. At present there are three local authorities that have one person working in a full-time capacity as a Vacant Homes Officer.

In all of the remaining 28 local authorities the officer appointed as a Vacant Homes Officer carries out additional duties in the planning and housing divisions within their authority. In some authorities there is more than one part-time officer carrying out the duties of the vacant homes officer. For example, as indicated in the table provided in the reply to Questions No. 741, 742, 744 and 745 of 21 April 2021, Cork County Council has two part-time vacant homes officers.

The activities of the Vacant Homes Officers is comprehensive with their main focus being bringing vacant properties back into use across the country. In bringing vacant housing back into use for social housing purposes, Vacant Homes Officers provide assistance to property owners to best utilise available supports such as the Repair & Lease, Buy and Renew and Long Term Leasing Schemes.


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