Written answers

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Vacant Properties

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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227. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will ensure that the funding levels of 2020 and 2021 for the voids programme are continued in 2022 in view of the need to make further progress in bringing back to habitable use vacant council housing stock; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2833/22]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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The management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including pre-letting repairs to vacant properties, the implementation of a planned maintenance programme and carrying out of responsive repairs, are matters for each individual local authority under Section 28 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 2009.

Since 2014, Exchequer funding has also been provided through my Department's Voids Programme to support local authorities in preparing vacant units for re-letting. This funding was introduced originally to tackle long term vacant units and is now increasingly targeted to support authority's to ensure minimal turnaround and re-let times for vacant stock.

My Department will continue to support local authorities in their work in this area. As in previous years, all local authorities will be asked to make a funding application under the 2022 programme in respect of their vacant stock which will receive due consideration and funding allocations will issue to all local authorities in due course.

It is important to note that my Department and local authorities supported by the City and County Management Association (CCMA) are working to transition from a largely response and voids based approach to housing stock management and maintenance to a planned maintenance approach as referenced in Housing for All, policy objective 20.6. This will require the implementation of a centrally hosted ICT system within the LGMA to support the completion of stock condition surveys by all local authorities and the subsequent development of strategic and informed work programmes which will be supported by my Department’s stock improvement funding programmes. It is envisaged surveys will commence in 2022.


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