In its efforts to tackle the housing crisis Louth County Council has taken control of 10 council houses in Dundalk which have been abandoned by the residents and is investigating another six.
Mr Joe McGuinness, senior executive officer with the council’s housing department, last week told Dundalk Local Policing Forum that the council is also investigating privately owned derelict dwellings and by the end of the year it will have removed 30 houses from an abandoned state.
He said a lot of these houses have been repossessed. People have just walked away for them.
The council is moving in line with Housing Minister Simon Coveney’s call for a faster turnover of council housing stock.
The minister has said vacated council houses should not be left sitting void for anything longer than a couple of weeks.
The Government is aiming for the percentage of vacant houses to be dramatically reduced and is working with senior management in council housing departments to have a sense of urgency to get voids back into use faster. And the minister has said that sense of urgency is there.
€5.5 billion will be available for social housing in the Government’s Action Plan. Minister Coveney said the Government was determined to change dramatically the state's response to those who found themselves homeless.