Thursday 27 April 2017

State to fund repair of private homes used for social housing

Housing Minister Simon Coveney with Jenna Foley and daughters Chloe (8) and Kaylee (5) as they show him their new home at Sheridan Park in Togher, Cork, yesterday. Jenna Foley has been on the housing waiting list for nine years. She will be the first resident of Sheridan Park later this week. Ms Foley said: 'It’s a dream come true – it’s a gorgeous house, but best of all it will be our home.' Photo: Daragh McSweeney
Housing Minister Simon Coveney with Jenna Foley and daughters Chloe (8) and Kaylee (5) as they show him their new home at Sheridan Park in Togher, Cork, yesterday. Jenna Foley has been on the housing waiting list for nine years. She will be the first resident of Sheridan Park later this week. Ms Foley said: 'It’s a dream come true – it’s a gorgeous house, but best of all it will be our home.' Photo: Daragh McSweeney
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

The Government is to extend nationwide a scheme where the State pays for the refurbishment of private rental accommodation if it is allocated to social housing applicants.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney said a pilot scheme in Carlow and Waterford proved a great success, and he now wanted to make the repair-to-rent programme available nationally.

The Government will provide more than €300m to ensure neglected private sector properties are brought on stream for social housing use under a series of initiatives.

"We need to bring as many vacant properties back into use as we can," he said.

Irish local authorities have slashed their own vacant housing stock rates from 3pc to below 1pc.

However, the Cork TD warned that a similar breakthrough was required for the private property sector.

"Essentially the State will pay for the cost of repairing a private property if that property is then made available for social housing," he said.

More than 90,000 people in Ireland are on social housing waiting lists - with 45,000 in Dublin alone.

A second initiative will see the Government make €25m available to local authorities to purchase derelict private properties and convert them to social housing use.

He claimed that the programmes to fast-track social housing delivery across Ireland were having a tangible impact.

In Cork city alone, more than 400 new units will be under construction on 18 sites by early May at a cost of about €97m.

Irish Independent

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