Fine Gael Laois/Offaly TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan TD, that 19 vacant homes in the Offaly area are to be brought back into use within twelve months.
Offaly County Council will spend €289,000 to upgrade 19 vacant properties, with €15,211 on average going to each house. These properties, which up until now have been boarded up and unused, will be refurbished and improved, making them into much needed family homes. In Laois, €178,000 will be spent to bring 14 social houses back into use.
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy commented, “A shortage of social housing is a real problem in Offaly and in Laois with hundreds of people who are in real need on waiting lists. It is really important that we make sure all local authority units are fit for purpose and it makes sense that local authority homes that have been left vacant are brought into use.”
She noted that oarded up houses, as well as being a complete waste of resources, are unsightly and often a target for anti-social behaviour.
“I am very pleased that this money will make these homes available and I believe it is particularly positive that this will happen within twelve months,” the Laois/Offaly TD added. “Providing social housing is a priority for the Government and the funding announced today is part of a campaign which will see €200 million invested over the next 18 months. Specifically related to bringing vacant social housing back into use, in April of this year, €15 million was allocated to kickstart the refurbishment and now a further €15 million has been allocated.”