Owners of vacant properties in Cork County are being encouraged to engage with the Peter McVerry Trust charity to help alleviate the housing and homelessness crisis.
The PMV Trust has been working with homeless people in a number of counties since 1974 and in January branched out to start working with the Cork County Council hoping to reduce the numbers on their social housing waiting lists.
The PMV Trust charity is asking people with vacant properties in the county to hand over the keys to them so that they can be used for social housing.
Under the new initiative, the charity will renovate the property under the repair and lease Government scheme, which offers a €40,000 interest-free loan to carry out work on the property, and then lease it to individuals and families on the Cork County Council social housing waiting list.
The property owner will receive a rental income from tenants and the property and tenant will be maintained and managed by the PMV Trust.
PMV Trust Empty Homes Coordinator Aoife Corcoran said they were looking at houses across the Cork County in East, North and West Cork and said they were particularly looking for homes to suit individuals or couples, such as one bedroom or two bedroom properties.
Despite there being a particular demand for these specific types of accommodation, Ms Corcoran also said that they were open to looking at all types of houses and anyone with a vacant property that would suit this scheme should come forward.
“We are looking for all sorts, we are very open to viewing any property that has the potential to be used under this scheme.” Ms Corcoran also said they were very interested in bringing life back into vacant properties in towns and villages such as above a shop as well as commercial entities that can be converted into domestic homes.
Ms Corcoran said that they had a list of different areas where demand was high and properties were welcome, including Cobh, Youghal, Fermoy and Carrigtwohill.
The PMV Trust has had considerable success with this scheme in other counties, such as Dublin and Limerick and is hoping to recreate their winning formula in the Cork county finding homes for people on the Cork County Council housing list.
Since 2015, 60 homes have been provided through this scheme and throughout 2019, Ms Corcoran said they hope to raise that number even more.
Speaking about examples of the type of property owners they are looking for, Ms Corcoran said it might suit someone who has an empty home that may have belonged to their mother that they didn’t want to see as they are emotionally attached to.
The Empty Homes Officer also said that it would suit someone who didn’t particularly want to be a landlord or who had a property that needs a bit of work.
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