Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
98. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the consideration that has been given to the proposals from the collaborative town centre health check and other new methods of locating vacant properties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11854/22]
Addressing vacancy and maximising the use of existing housing stock is a primary concern of this Government, as demonstrated by one of the four pathways dedicated solely to this priority area in the new Housing for All strategy. The most recent figures available from Census 2016 indicate that there were 183,000 vacant homes nationwide, a 20% reduction on figures reported in Census 2011 (230,000) in every local authority across the country. Work is also underway by the Department of Finance through the current Local Property Tax returns to assess the present vacancy situation and once collated and analysed this data will provide a new data set on vacant homes.
Local authorities play a key role at the local level in identifying vacant properties in their area having regard to data collated at the national level such as through the Census and the work of the Department of Finance. I would encourage every local authority to exhaust all of these data sources, including other avenues such as the collaborative town centre health check which is an initiative of the Heritage Council, in identifying vacant properties and bringing them back into productive residential use.