Council plans to recruit staff for housing CPOs
THE Council is planning to recruit Vacant Homes Officers to start using Compulsory Purchase Orders to buy up vacant houses for the Housing Waiting List.
Councillor Declan Bree put forward a motion calling on the Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes to consider using CPOs specifically for that purpose.
He said that according to the latest Census figures, there were almost 4,000 vacant houses in Sligo.
“It is clear many of them would be suitable for social housing,” he told the meeting.
“Other councils in the country have successfully begun to use compulsory purchase orders to buy houses to reduce the number of households on housing waiting lists and I believe Sligo needs to do so if it is to seriously begin reducing the numbers on its waiting list,” he said.
“In my opinion it is immoral and unjust to have dwelling houses lying vacant in Sligo while families on the housing list are living in overcrowded and unfit conditions,” he said.
Council Official Joe Murphy said the Council was currently preparing a funding application to the Government for Vacant Homes Officers.
Cllr Chris MacManus said CPOs could incur “quite additional costs” and said they needed to ask the Government to review their CPO Act processes.
Council Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes said CPOs were an option but were not that simple but he would explore it.
However he warned CPOs were “resource hungry.”
Mayor of the Municipal Distric Cllr Hubert Keaney said: “I think we should use this. I would send a message out there to all the people who own these houses,” he said.
“People don’t have the right to just leave it there - it would wake people up and get people into houses quicker,” he said.
Cllr Declan Bree