Peter McVerry Trust identifies empty Cork homes to be renovated for social housing

Peter McVerry Trust identifies empty Cork homes to be renovated for social housing
One of the houses in Cork that Peter McVerry Trust has renovated for use as social housing.

A number of properties across Cork city and county are being renovated by the Peter McVerry Trust (PMVT) for use as social housing.

PMVT Head of Communications Francis Doherty said they have reviewed 15 buildings across Cork since their appeal in the spring for homes under their empty homes scheme.

The charity issued an appeal to owners of vacant properties who would be interested in selling or leasing their properties to them.

These properties would then be renovated under the Repair and Leasing Scheme and Buy and Renew Scheme as part of Rebuilding Ireland before being rented out through the local authority as social housing units.

Mr Doherty said that Cork had the most positive response across the whole country and there is a number of promising projects in the pipeline for use as social housing.

“We got a really good response from Cork in relation to our appeal for derelict buildings, probably the most positive across the country.” 

The Head of Communications said that work has started on a two-bedroom terraced house in Cork City which will be ready to be leased at the end of the year and there are another five or six buildings that are in the works.

In the county, Mr Doherty said that there are projects in Fermoy, Bandon and Charleville which will result in 26 apartments for use by the local authority.

The PMVT representative said that there is a huge demand for apartments as single people account for the majority of those in the homeless sector.

“The units are for people on the social housing waiting list with those in homelessness most in mind.” Mr Doherty said that the aim of the scheme was to get properties from first point of contact with the homeowner to leasing in six months with help from the city and county council.

“The local authority in the city and county have been very supportive, we are in contact with them on a weekly basis and they are advising us on potential projects and giving feedback.” Mr Doherty said that as well as having a positive outcome for communities and helping individuals, the scheme is very attractive to homeowners with vacant properties for a number of reasons.

“PMVT arranges the surveyor, the contractor, we manage all the paperwork and support the tenant over the course of the lease.

“The homeowner can get an interest free loan for repairs and pay back the cost of the surveyor and contractor through the tenant’s rent payments so there really are a lot of benefits to the scheme.”

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