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126 Council Homes Lay Vacant In Kildare In The First Six Months Of This Year

Stock image: Pexels

It comes as the State’s 31 councils have over 95,000 people on their housing waiting lists

Some 126 council homes in Kildare lay vacant in the first six months of this year.

The figures come as 5,378 people across Kildare are on a housing list.

Over 3,500 council homes all over Ireland lay empty at the end of the first six months of this year, according to new figures seen by Kfm.

It comes as the State’s 31 councils have over 95,000 people on their housing waiting lists with over 70,0000 people availing of the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Scheme.

The vacant council figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act to Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín.

Deputy Tóibín commented:"It is incredible that in the jaws of a national emergency in terms of housing that well over 3,500 local authority homes are lying empty tonight.

"According to Aontú's findings, there are enough empty local authority homes in the state to house well over half the number of people who are homeless. Much of the focus of the political bubble has been on the large number of empty homes in private hands.

However, we in Aontú believe that it's unforgivable that state bodies themselves preside over empty homes. Thousands of homeless people are living in emergency accommodation throughout the country at great human cost to themselves and at great financial cost to the state."

Deputy Tóibín continued: "There will always be a length of time and a level turnover of Local Authority accommodation. But there appears to be a growing dysfunction in some arms of the state when dealing with housing. Bureaucracy, red tape, poor management, lack of staff and inefficiency is making housing provision grindingly slow.  The average time taken to re-let council homes has been increasing steadily since 2018 and averaged almost eight months in 2021."

"The HAP and RAS figures also show the continuing reliance on the private sector for the provision of social housing. In many ways this is robbing Peter to pay Paul. HAP and RAS are not additional housing units. They are homes taken from the private rental sector squeezing that section of the market further. We need new additional social housing units to really increase supply.

"State spending on rent subsidies is now well over €1bn per annum. This is dead money that has no long term benefit to society. If it was invested in the construction of social housing the asset would remain in the hands of the state with a rental income for decades into the future. It's unacceptable that local authorities nationally are sitting on vacant houses in the teeth of this housing crisis, emergency and disaster", concluded Tóibín. 

 

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