More government action required on vacant properties, says TD

Social Democrat’s spokesperson on Housing Cian O’Callaghan has called for more Government action on vacant properties and apprenticeships to address the housing shortage.
More government action required on vacant properties, says TD

Vivienne Clarke

Social Democrat’s spokesperson on Housing Cian O’Callaghan has called for more Government action on vacant properties and apprenticeships to address the housing shortage.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr O’Callaghan said that the Government had been “sparse” in details in its report on Housing for All with few details about the delivery of social housing.

“The Government is way behind the targets it set itself,” he said.

Mr O’Callaghan said that the Government was 30 percent behind in its spending for social homes and warned that it could not “chase” existing supplies to meet demand as that would push up prices.

“It’s not delivering the extra supply that is needed”.

Mr O’Callaghan said there was an urgent need for skilled labourers in the building sector, but the country was “way behind” with apprenticeships. The current number of apprenticeships was 15 percent of the figure in 2006, he said.

The most recent census had also identified 35,000 vacant homes which needed to be converted into accommodation.

Meanwhile, a national housing charity is answering one call every twenty minutes from private renters facing eviction.

Threshold's latest report shows its advisors are handling an average of 472 queries a month from people being told they have to leave their rented properties.

60 per cent of notices issued to renters were because the landlord intended to sell the property.

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