40 empty houses brought back into active use

Kerry County Council brought 40 vacant social houses back into active use last year

Kerry County Council has brought 40 vacant social houses back into active use and, in the process, it recouped €440,000 from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under the voids progamme in 2022.

The scheme supports local authorities in preparing vacant homes for re-letting. Nationally in 2022, 2,307 vacant social homes were brought back into active use in 2022 which was just above the anticipated figure of 2,273.

Minster for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, said it indicates that the intensive work in 2020 and 2021 by local authorities in this area has reduced the number of vacant social homes.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien with Kerry TD and Education Minister Norma Foley

He said making more efficient use of existing housing stock is a key action in the Government’s Housing for All plan and the voids programme builds on the ongoing work to tackle vacancy and dereliction and it brings vacant properties into re-use for housing.

“Apart from the obvious advantages of meeting demand for social housing, the return of these 40 vacant homes in Kerry has a positive impact on communities and avoids vacant homes becoming run down and derelict in some instances and the source of anti-social behaviour,” the minister said.

“Kerry County Council seized the opportunity to bring these dwellings back into active use i this will make a real difference to the lives of 40 households,” he added.

The number of vacant social homes that had works done to prepare them for pre-letting was lower in 2022 than in 2021 and 2020.

This is a result of the intense two-year period of tackling long-term social housing vacancy and legacy vacancy and it was always envisaged that the programme would revert to more normalised levels in 2022.

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