Former Lord Mayor: Fair Deal homes must be freed up

Former Lord Mayor: Fair Deal homes must be freed up
Picture Denis Minihane.

Freeing up empty houses that are locked into the Fair Deal nursing home scheme could help to address the housing shortage, according to a Cork Seanad candidate.

Independent councillor Mick Finn said it should be a policy of any new government, and “if the political will is there, there should be a way of making this happen”.

The former Lord Mayor said that the new Oireachtas needs to accelerate recent positive house-building trends.

“All over Cork city and county, and throughout the land, homes are lying idle because they are being used to help fund nursing home placements in the Fair Deal scheme,” said Mr Finn.

“There must be a way of utilising these properties on a short- or defined-term letting basis that would have multiplier effects for the homeowner’s family or estate, the local authority, and the HSE.

“Of course it would also mean that families in emergency accommodation would have a proper place to stay — even for a defined period — until permanent housing can be sourced.”

Mr Finn said the current scheme that has houses tied up in this arrangement rented out via the council would yield monies to the owners, the HSE for continuing nursing home care and perhaps a contribution towards the local authority’s housing fund.

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