Sinn Féin TD for Offaly and North Tipperary, Teachta Carol Nolan, has called on owners of vacant properties to consider making the property available under the Repair and Leasing Scheme so that the property may be used for social housing.
Teachta Nolan said, “I welcome the recent announcement by the Government that the Repair and Leasing Scheme has been rolled out state-wide after pilot projects in Waterford and Carlow. This scheme provides funding for repair work upfront on condition that the owner make the property available for social housing for at least ten years.
Deputy Nolan said that the fact that the numbers on the social housing waiting list in Offaly alone is approximately 2,500, she would encourage property owners who may qualify for the scheme to get in touch with the local authority to express interest in the scheme and to get more information.
“With over 198,000 vacant properties across the state, this is more than enough to take people out of emergency accommodation and off waiting lists. In this respect the target of only 800 vacant properties and the provision of only €26 million funding is unambitious and demonstrates a clear lack of urgency in tackling this issue.
“I am hopeful that local interest and the co-operation of property owners will be high and that this initiative will be instrumental in providing a solution to the housing supply crisis across the state.
“Therefore, I would call on the Minister to provide additional funding for the scheme and to adjust the inadequate target of 800 homes,” the Sinn Fein TD concluded.