VacantHomes.ie reports 250 vacant units being brought back into use
Posted in Connect on February 8, 2019.
Good news on the housing supply front as VacantHomes.ie, the portal website initiated by Mayo County Council which allows the public to anonymously log empty homes, is reporting 250 vacant units are in the process of being renovated or have been brought back into use.
With more than 2,500 properties currently on the site identified as being vacant, Tom Gilligan, Director of Services with Mayo County Council, is thankful for the public efforts towards solving the housing crisis: “Bringing vacant homes back into use benefits everyone. Apart from providing much needed social housing, it also helps communities by breathing new life into areas that need rejuvenation. We all know that increasing the supply of housing will help in our efforts to solving the homeless situation. Bringing empty units back into use helps protect local services and stimulates the local economy. It also makes sense from an environmental and climate change perspective, as a lot of the key infrastructure such as roads and utilities are already in place. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
To date vacant homes logged on the site: Leinster 50%, Munster 33%, Connacht 14%, Ulster 3%.
Properties registered: Detached 34%, Semi-detached 31%, Terraced 26%, Flat/Apartment 6% and Other 3%.
The information that vacanthomes.ie provides is assisting Local Authority Vacant Home Officers in their efforts to contact owners of empty homes in order to advise them of options available to help bring their property back to life. Schemes such as the Repair and Leasing and Buy and Renew schemes are routes that owners can avail of upfront finance and both schemes are currently complimenting each other.
In County Mayo alone, there are Agreements to Lease signed under the Repair and Leasing Scheme for 11 units and there are definite signs that interest in this scheme is growing and further units are anticipated. To date 3 units have been completed in Co Mayo via the Buy and Renew scheme and the Council is currently assessing projects with the potential to deliver another 19 units.
Although, the Repair and Lease Scheme has failed to reach the targets which were initially set, there are signs that’s the new revamped scheme is gaining traction with more and more enquiries happening on a daily basis. VacantHomes.ie has also seen recent modifications and enhancements, which will assist further the work of local authorities and will help accelerate the continued drive towards modernisation and better exploiting the potential of digital in the delivery of services. This new technology will aid the Government’s efforts in reducing homelessness and the terrible eyesore of empty units across the country.
The support of the Vacant Homes Unit in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has been instrumental in assisting Mayo County Council’s work and development of VacantHomes.ie.