Cork public identify 130 empty units that could be used for housing

Cork public identify 130 empty units that could be used for housing

MORE than 130 vacant housing units have been identified in Cork city and county and logged with the vacanthomes.ie website since the project began in August.

The Government-backed website allows the public to anonymously log possible vacant properties and alert councils who can then follow up with the owners to see whether the house can be reused quickly. 

More than 1,400 vacant housing units around the country have been logged to date.

“Bringing vacant homes back into use will benefit property owners, communities and the local economy,” said Tom Gilligan, of the Vacant Homes initiative.

“We want to utilise existing vacant housing units in order to increase supply and choice of housing for anyone who has a housing need.

“We are working closely with colleagues in Cork's local authorities in order to achieve this,” he added.

The type of properties includes detached, semi-detached, terraced, flats and apartments.

Twenty-three percent of the homes logged on the site have come from Munster with 59 percent from Leinster, 14 percent from Connaught and 4 percent from Ulster.

“We are delighted with the response we are getting from the public in relation to the Vacant homes initiative,” said Mr Gilligan.

“It’s particularly great to see the level of response from Munster and Leinster where the need for housing might be greater.” 

The 2016 census recorded over 183,000 vacant housing units across Ireland.

“We’re in the centre of a housing crisis and we believe that the reintroduction of these vacant properties is paramount,” said Mr Gilligan.

Over €60 million has been allocated for the two initiatives provided by vacanthomes.ie for 2018.

The Repair and Release scheme offers grants of up to €40,000 to be spent on repairs on the condition that the property be leased out by local authorities for a minimum of ten years with the rent going to the landlord minus the grant owed.

Meanwhile, the Buy and Renew initiative offers landlords the chance to sell their house to local authorities with the price depending on the state of the property.

“Sixty million euro is a very substantial amount and we hope it will go some way to helping in this current housing crisis,” said Mr Gilligan.

“The vacant homes initiative has created a huge awareness of the amount of vacant housing units across Ireland and we would encourage local people to log any unit they know is vacant so we can work to try to reintroduce it to the market.”

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