Cribbin 'disappointed' with Offaly County Council's failure to buy vacant homes
Offaly County Councillor Noel Cribbin has expressed disappointment over news reported by the Offaly Express last week that Offaly County Council has failed to buy a single vacant home in the last seven years.
The Fine Gael councillor said, "Despite raising the issue on several occasions about the many long-term vacant houses in the Edenderry area, I only discovered in the last week that my queries had fallen on deaf ears."
"However, I have spoken this week to officials in housing and after compiling a list of vacant houses in the Edenderry area I sat down with planning staff and went through over twenty houses that are vacant, many for years and are so bad with overgrowth that you can’t see them," Noel continued.
"It’s a crying shame to see these once lovely homes vacant, derelict and an eyesore in the area. The council have assured me that they will now write out to the homeowners explaining to them that there are options for them as regards the vacant houses including repair and lease which involves the council giving a loan up to €40,000 to the homeowners to help bring the house up to livable standards," he added.
"The loan is paid back by taking an agreed sum from the weekly rent, other options include CPO which would be the last resort," Noel said.
"It's so sad to see lovely houses fall into dereliction when there are so many families out there in dire need of housing and whether the families have long left the area, family feuds or whatever the reason, the time has come for these derelict houses to be brought back into use," he added.
"Whilst Offaly may have been hesitant to go down this route many other councils around the country have and I was only too glad to work with the council in compiling a list of vacant houses in the area and hopefully, as a result, we will see families living in these houses again," Noel concluded.