A HUNDRED and ninety seven vacant social homes were returned to use in Cork City and county last year.
€2.167m was recouped by Cork City Council and Cork County Council from the Department of Housing, Local Government through the Voids Programme in 2022. The Voids Programme supports local authorities in preparing vacant homes for re-letting and aims to tackle vacancy and dereliction.
Nationally, a total of 2,307 vacant social homes were brought into use last year under the Voids Programme. This is just above the anticipated figure of 2,273 vacant social homes, indicating that the work in 2020 and 2021 by local authorities has reduced the number of vacant social homes.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, said the homes will have a ‘positive’ impact on communities.
“Apart from the obvious advantages of meeting demand for social housing, the return of these 197 vacant homes in Cork has a positive impact on communities and avoids vacant homes becoming run down and derelict in some instances and the source of anti-social behaviour,” he said.
Mr O’Brien praised both Cork City Council and Cork County Council for seizing the opportunity to bring the homes back into use.
“Cork City Council and Cork County Council seized the opportunity to bring these homes back into active use in 2022 and this will make a real difference to the lives of 197 households.
"It’s welcome that nationally the number of vacant social homes requiring pre-letting works was lower in 2022 than in 2021 or 2020.
“In 2020 and 2021, we spent more than €88m bringing 6,032 vacant social homes back into use, and we are reducing the number of voids in need of refurbishment works. We are now progressively shifting to a position of planned maintenance of social-housing stock to ensure minimal turnaround and re-let times for social housing stock,” he added.