BOTH local authorities in Cork should move early to secure as much of the new €150m fund to restore derelict and vacant buildings, Cork North West TD Michael Creed has urged.
The fund announced this week as part of the Government’s Vacant Homes Action Plan invites proposals from Cork County Council, Cork City Council and other local authorities across the country to seek funding to acquire a erelict property or site, carry out works to improve it or reduce risk and either make it habitable or sell it. The proceeds of the sale would then be reinvested in another derelict property.
The Macroom based TD said he was aware of many derelict buildings in every town in the constituency of Cork North West.
“I would urge our local authorities here in County Cork to move early on this scheme,” he said, adding that he would be contacting both councils to stress the urgency of the matter.
“The new funding announced as part of the Vacant Homes Action Plan is a unique opportunity to enhance those town centres as well as increasing housing stock in our urban areas, something that is badly needed.”
The Vacant Homes Action Plan also provides more detail on measures the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will implement over the coming year to bring more vacant and derelict properties back into use.
These measures include the formulation of guidance on compulsory purchase orders to be used by local authorities with an initial focus on derelict properties.
Another measure is the rollout of a data collection project across all local authorities to ascertain the number of vacant and derelict properties .
The news comes as a new record high figure for homeless people emerged this week, 11,632. This figure comes at the same time as figures from the Central Statistics Office shows the vacancy rate for houses in Ireland was 4.3% or one in 25. This figure is based on metered electricity usage.
The data shows homes assumed to be vacant through very low levels of electricity consumption over four consecutive quarters or more, according to CSO Statistician, Justin Anderson.
The vacancy rate in Mallow is 4.9% while, in Kanturk, the vacancy rate is 7.5%.
The rate in Macroom is 5.1% and in Fermoy the rate is 5.4% while it’s 8.5% in Bantry.