Breath­nach queries va­cant houses

The Argus - - NEWS -

LOUTH County Coun­cil has 91 va­cant So­cial Houses that can’t be brought back into use due to lack of main­te­nance fund­ing, a Louth TD told the Dail last week.

Deputy De­clan Breath­nach said: ‘It is a dis­grace to have 91 empty homes wait­ing on up­grad­ing works whicle the hous­ing list grows big­ger and big­ger and we strug­gle with a home­less­ness cri­sis.’

He asked ‘ Why is the De­part­ment not fund­ing the re­fur­bish­ment of all our Lo­cal Au­thor­ity voids? It does not make fi­nan­cial sense to have large num­bers of voids while ‘ talk­ing up’ a build­ing pro­gramme.’

He added that un­der mea­sures an­nounced in Bud­get ’19, the Gov­ern­ment is al­lo­cat­ing ex­che­quer fund­ing of al­most €2.3 bil­lion to hous­ing pro­grammes.

In ad­di­tion, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties will fund a range of hous­ing ser­vices to the value of al­most €93 mil­lion from sur­plus Lo­cal Prop­erty Tax (LPT) re­ceipts, bring­ing the to­tal hous­ing bud­get in 2019 to al­most €2.4 bil­lion.

‘I pointed out to the Min­is­ter that none of this mat­ters if the hands of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are tied in re­fur­bish­ing ex­ist­ing stock to bring back into use. I have asked that a chunk of the fund­ing an­nounced in the bud­get be ring-fenced for lo­cal au­thor­ity re­fur­bish­ment works.’

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