HOUSING ACTION NEEDED
LOUTH has the highest number of homeless people per capita in the East/ North-East region outside of Dublin, according to new figures.
The ‘Homelessness report’ from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government showed there were 122 people listed as homeless at the end of August.
This put the wee county as having the greatest level of homelessness per capita in the east/north east region, outside of Dublin.
Responding to the figures, Louth TD Declan Breathnach expressed his concern, saying
‘Louth has a population of 128,884 with 122 people homeless as opposed to next highest Kildare’s population of 222,130, with 141 people homeless,’ said
Breathnach who was commenting at the number of homeless in Louth and hopes that the new Fianna Fáil Bill
“Vacant Housing Refurbishment Bill 2017” will help alleviate the problem.
‘ This bill is a practical, common sense and constructive measure that forms part of
Fianna Fáil’s determined focus on providing workable solutions to the Housing Crisis. The radical increase in the supply of homes for the thousands of families that require them needs constant crisis management by Government.’
Deputy Breathnach said he had submitted a Freedom of Information Request to Louth County Council, querying the number of empty housing units.
‘ The number of vacant units owned by them in 2017 is 56. I was also told that it takes approximately 18 weeks to return a vacant social housing unit back into use. It should be a priority for the Council to bring these vacant units back into use without delay.’
‘I have also established that in Dundalk alone, there are well over 200 2nd and 3rd floor units that could be refurbished.’
‘ This bill will in essence allow a one-stop-shop to be established which will process all these applications in a timely and co-ordinated manner. We can reduce a planning application system that can last months and drain the money, energy and determination that is needed if we are to get on top of this crisis to two weeks.’
‘ The incentive to property owners is obvious. Within two weeks each property owner or their builder/architect will have secured all the permissions they need in order to convert these units into homes. That is a real incentive to those property owners to be pro-active in getting the full potential of their properties particularly in urban areas but also in towns and villages. I urge all owners who have vacant units or upper floor units suitable for conversion to look into this,’ said the Louth TD.
Teacher, Pamela O’Connor-Moneley with the School choir at the Harvest Festival in Dundalk Grammar School.
Declan Breathnach TD.