Austin Macauley 28 September 2015

FOI request reveals 2,600 empty council homes across Ireland

Politicians in Ireland have demanded the country’s 2,600 empty local authority homes are put to use to tackle the ‘growing housing emergency’.

Fianna Fáil obtained a freedom of information request to reveal the extent to which councils are ‘sitting on vacant housing units’. It found the city of Cork has 424 empty properties alone while Dublin currently has more than 250.

The party called on local government minister Alan Kelly to take action rather than ‘making policy-on-the-hoof’.

‘It is sickening to think that there are a massive number of vacant housing units owned by local authorities sitting idle,’ said Barry Cowen, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on environment and local government.

‘This is at a time when social housing waiting lists are at historic highs and emergency homeless shelters are running out of space to accommodate the escalating crisis.

‘Minister Alan Kelly is continually trying to reassure the public that he has a plan for dealing with the housing crisis. However, the huge number of vacant housing units across the country shows that no such joint up plan exists. The minister is out of touch with the public considering his lacklustre response to the housing crisis to date. His lack of action is inexcusable.’

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