'Follow Louth CoCo's example' urges Peter McVerry

The anti-homeless campaigner believes Louth is an example others can follow

Barry Landy

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Barry Landy

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barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

'Follow Louth CoCo's example' urges Peter McVerry

Peter McVerry says Louth County Council are an example to lead.

Fr Peter McVerry, the anti-homelessness campaigner, has praised Louth County Council's efforts to to acquire and provide social housing for those who need it. 

The founder of the Peter McVerry Trust says that the local authority is leading the way in making vacant properties available for social housing. 

“I would urge the Government to tell the other local authorities to follow Louth County Council’s example," he told the Irish Examiner. "We have the solution to homelessness — we just have to use it."

McVerry told the newspaper that Louth County Council had made 81 compulsory purchase orders on vacant properties in recent years, with just two cases successfully challenged in courts by owners of properties. 

As of the end of January, the social housing waiting list in Louth stood at 4,479. In recent years, the local authority have launched an initiative to start applying its powers under the 1966 Housing Act to place a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on vacant or disused properties.

They see this as an efficient and credible way to take vacant properties and make them available for people who need somewhere to live across the county. The council say this method is a cheaper and quicker alternative that attempting to build new units. 

According to the Department of Housing, the average cost of bringing vacant properties up to standard is between €60,000 and €70,000 while it costs €190,000 to build a new three-bedroom house, according to the Department of Housing.

It is understood that a number of local authorities around the county have looked closely at the Louth council's approach with a view to evaluating the county's approach and following it's lead.