Additional funding needed to tackle dereliction, says Sinn Féín housing spokesperson

Eoin Ó Broin was speaking during a visit to Cork this week where he engaged with various groups and individuals on the housing market and housing system in Cork.
Additional funding needed to tackle dereliction, says Sinn Féín housing spokesperson

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on housing, Eoin Ó Broin T.D. at Cork Penny Dinners with Thomas Gould.T.D. Picture Dan Linehan

SINN FÉIN'S housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said the local authorities in Cork and across the country need to be provided with additional funding from central government to effectively tackle the scourge of dereliction.

The Dublin Mid-West TD was speaking during a visit to Cork this week to engage with various groups and individuals to discuss the housing market and housing system in Cork.

Mr Ó Broin spoke of the need to reform the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process and for local authorities to be provided with increased funding to make more headway in cracking down on dereliction.

"The CPO legislation is just too slow.

"If you talk to local authority managers, they’ll tell you it can take two, three or four years to get a successful CPO across the line.

"There’s been a longstanding call for the Law Reform Commission to reform the CPO process to make it much more speedy.

"That's the first thing," he said, speaking to The Echo.

"The second thing is that the local authorities can only buy what they’re given money for. 

"They have not been given enough money both by this government and the previous government whether to build or to buy homes both for social and affordable housing use. 

"So, government centrally need to do much more in terms of law reform but also in terms of providing additional funds.

"In some of the meetings I’ve been doing with directors of housing in cities that have a serious dereliction problem, they’re saying that they need additional funds to be able to acquire those sites. 

"In general, they’re only given funding for building or buying new homes but they also need the money to acquire the sites to be able to develop in the first place. 

"So much more can be done by central government and I think if central government does that I think you’ll see the local authorities, particularly in places like Cork, respond positively."

Speaking with regard to build-to-rent, Mr Ó Broin said reforms are also needed for these schemes. 

"The design standards for build-to-rent apartments are inferior to build to sell apartments.

"In a build-to-rent development, the apartments are smaller, they have less natural light, they have less storage, you can have far more studio apartments which are only about 34sqm than you can have proper one beds and two beds.

"If Sinn Féin were in government, the first thing we would do with respect to build-to-rent is we would remove the two-tier design standard so anything that is being built, whether you’re renting or buying it, it’s the same quality."

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