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STATEMENT Fingal County Council condemns actions by group who entered unoccupied council-owned house


Fingal County Council condems the actions of a group of people who entered an unoccupied house owned by the Council at Brega in Balbriggan last Saturday.

The property is currently undergoing refurbishment works, having returned to housing stock in June 2018, in advance of its allocation to a qualified applicant, from the housing waiting list, and damage caused by the trespassers may result in the handover of the property being delayed.

Fingal County Council has a strong record in relation to the turn around time for void properties and 1% of the stock is currently void or undergoing pre-let repairs. It cannot always be assumed that empty dwellings are in the possession of the Council as the resolution of legal or Tenancy situations may prevent the Council from carrying out works.

In addition, the 2016 Census shows that the County’s overall vacancy rate in relation to private housing in the county was 4.7%, which was one of the lowest in Ireland. Fingal County Council appointed a Vacant Homes Officer in September 2017 and a Vacant Homes Action Plan, which was completed in December 2017, is currently being implemented. The initial focus of the Vacant Homes Officer has been in areas of high social housing demand - namely Dublin 15, Swords and Balbriggan – and, to date, approximately 200 properties have been identified across the county as long term vacant properties and potentially suitable for social housing.

These properties have been prioritised for intense ownership investigation and, once identified, owners are contacted with a packaged range of options from existing and new schemes, including short and long term leasing, repair and lease, buy and renew, or purchase by the Council or an Approved Housing Body.

Members of the community should inform Fingal County Council of vacant homes, in their area, which are not advertised for sale or for rent through the website.

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