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Common sense approach required after Census reveals 8,919 vacant dwellings in Tipperary – Cllr. Martin Lonergan

Independent Local County Councillor for Clonmel/Cahir Borough District, Martin Lonergan is demanding action from the Government and the Local Authority following the release of the preliminary results of Census, 2016 which showed 8,919 vacant dwellings in County Tipperary which equates to a 12.7% vacancy rate.

Commenting after the release of the preliminary results Cllr. Lonergan said; “The startling 12.7 per cent vacancy rate in Tipperary is unacceptably high despite the current unprecedented housing crisis. Unfortunately, this underlines just how dysfunctional our housing system has become in recent years.

In Tipperary we have individuals and families, in their thousands, awaiting the allocation of Social Housing yet the Census figures show over 8,919 vacant units across the County.

We therefore should consider introducing common sense compulsory purchase order's (CPO's) in order to take buildings which have been unoccupied for a number of years out of private ownership and allocated towards Social Housing.

We should not and cannot tolerate a situation where there are hundreds of homes lying idle, particularly during a housing crisis. We have to ask a real urgent question of whether these empty homes can, in the first instance, be brought back into use for people who are currently on housing waiting lists at minimal cost and if there is actual demand in that particular respective area.

The Local Authority need to investigate how long and why homes are lying empty. In some instances, houses have been empty for years due to family disputes or otherwise, and which could be at little cost, brought back into habitable units. This would significantly speed up the re-housing of families and by-pass the, at times, drawn out planning process and construction period of Social Houses.”

Concluding Cllr. Lonergan said, “Clearly and been practical, many of these homes are empty for good reason and cannot be made available for other households. But even accessing a small proportion of them would make a big difference to those who have been waiting the allocation of a house for years on end.”