Louth County Council call on public to report vacant housing units

Housing

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Louth County Council call on public to report vacant housing units

Louth County Council call on public to report vacant housing units

Louth County Council are calling on the public to report vacant housing units to help address the housing crisis in the county.

They are asking people to do this by going to the new website, www.vacanthomes.ie, where anyone can then enter the details of a vacant property.

Vacanthomes.ie is an initiative of Mayo County Council to ensure a national database of vacant homes could be compiled. The website is designed to gather valuable information on vacant homes throughout the country.

It is recognised that an effective way to meet housing needs is to achieve optimum occupancy of the existing housing stock, whether social or private housing. It is acknowledged that vacant dwellings remain a very significant source of accommodation supply.

Census 2016 identified 183,312 vacant homes, not including 62,148 vacant holiday homes in Ireland. A recent GeoDirectory report estimated vacant stock of 96,243.

The main goals of www.vacanthomes.ie are to:

  • Raise awareness of vacant homes and the need to bring them back in to use;
  • Help develop a national database of vacant homes throughout the country;
  • Provide a 24/7, 365 days, on-line one stop shop for advice, education and assistance;
  • Allow for Crowdsourcing, which helps obtain information or input via the Internet;
  • Introduce a mechanism for local authorities to engage with homeowners and vice versa;
  • Research, develop and work with others in order to develop ideas, policies and strategies in the areas of housing and in particular vacant homes.

Speaking at the launch, Tom Gilligan Director of Services, Mayo Co Council said,

'Our goal is to create new homes from existing vacant housing stock and www.vacanthomes.ie provides us with a unique opportunity to achieve this.

'We recognise that locally generated information will be crucial in helping us to understand better and deal with the whole issue of vacant homes and empty properties.

'As a sector, local government wants to engage with owners to bring these vacant homes back in to use.'

Urging people to use www.vacanthomes.ie, Mr Gilligan confirmed that the site will generate more opportunities for citizens and their communities to access housing and allow the creation of new homes from existing vacant dwellings in an environmentally sustainable manner.

It will also provide an opportunity for the local government sector to gain a better understanding of the issue of vacant homes.

'This site operates in real time; it will provide information and advice to various stakeholders, and can provide up to the minute statistics and results that will lead to better decision making in to the future,' he said.