Speaking at Louth County Council’s July meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor and Chairperson of the Housing Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) Joanna Byrne raised the issue of an increase yet again in the number of Vacant Properties in the County,
Cllr Byrne said “This month sees yet another increase in the number of vacant properties the council is in possession of, with additional houses in both un-tenanted & un-occupied requiring major and minor works in refurbishing. It must become a priority for the local authority to get these up to allocation standard, considering the housing shortage in this county. What is the delay in turning these around, is it money or manpower?”
Director of Services, Joe McGuinness, agreed with Cllr Byrne that there was an increase with the percentage of Stock Vacant going from the usual 0.27% to 2.44% and it is an issue that he and his team are currently focusing on. A surge in abandoned properties and the amount of properties acquired through the CPO process coming into fruition have contributed to the increase.
Speaking afterwards Cllr Byrne said: “No amount of vacant properties is acceptable to me, let alone 83 of them. That’s 83 families that could be taken out of emergency accommodation or off the housing waiting list and given their forever home. Louth County Council need to now focus on turning these vacant properties around and making them a priority for allocation. I will be monitoring this issue very closely and will keep pressing the officials until I see them all completed and allocated.”