Fingal County Council has released a new vacant and derelict homes strategy
Fingal plan to tackle empty houses will provide valuable accommodation for people in housing need
Fingal County Council has released a new vacant and derelict homes strategy which outlines how it aims to take a more proactive approach to bring vacant homes back into use.
The Vacant Homes Plan will help bring vacant properties back into use as a cost-effective and sustainable way to increase the supply of housing to meet local needs. In doing so, the Council believes it can help improve neighbourhoods, increase access to housing and help to improve quality of life for those living within the towns, villages, rural and larger urban areas within the County.
To help launch strategy, Fingal welcomed Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD on a site visit to see work now underway at a number of cottages at the St Ita’s hospital campus in Portrane. Many of the cottages, which have been passed on to Fingal, thanks to the HSE, have remained empty over many years. The Council is now in the process of repairing 14 of the cottages so they can become part of its available housing stock, with the first of these expected to be completed in early 2023.
Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Howard Mahony, said: “Fingal has a strong record in repair and re-letting of its own housing stock, and while it also has one of the lowest rates of vacant housing in the country, it’s still immensely important that we aim to bring back to life every single home that we can to help ensure there is a supply of good quality homes for people to rent or buy.”
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien TD said: “Fingal are certainly leading by example, and I’d like to commend what is a really good action plan. The Government, through its Housing for All strategy, is focused on ensuring that existing housing stock is utilised to the fullest extent possible, so it’s great to see work underway in places like Portrane to help tackle properties left empty or in a state of disrepair.”
Director of Housing at Fingal County Council, Robert Burns said: “Fingal has a high demand for housing across all tenures, with a growing population and against a backdrop of wider issues such as affordability and homelessness. As a Council, we want every household that has a need to be able to access an affordable home of good quality, at an affordable cost, which is suited to their needs and in a secure environment. Bringing vacant homes back into use is an essential aspect which will assist with meeting this aim.”
Since 2019, the Council’s pursuance of vacancy has seen 70 privately owned vacant units brought back into occupation to meet the housing need of persons in the county. This was through Compulsory Purchase Order, schemes such as Buy and Renew, Repair and Lease and engagement with property owners.
Work has also commenced elsewhere in the county on two dwellings under the Croí Conaithe refurbishment grant scheme with a further five applications under assessment. The scheme has recently been expanded to cater for all areas of the county both urban and rural with potential grants of up to €50,000 available to assist deal with vacancy and dereliction.