Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien.

Fifty-four social houses brought back into active use

Fifty-four vacant social homes in County Cavan were brought back into active use last year under the Voids Programme at a cost of €594,000. They were among 2,481 social housing units nationally that were reintroduced at cost of almost €29M.

From 2014 to 2023, the data shows that a total of 380 homes in the county were brought into use at a cost of €4,568,568.

The Voids Programme supports local authorities in preparing vacant homes for re-letting and builds on the ongoing work to tackle vacancy and dereliction to bring vacant properties into reuse for housing.

Commenting on the figures, the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, paid tribute to county councils like Cavan for their role in the campaign.

“Refurbishment and the return to use of vacant properties helps to reduce pressure on existing housing stock, increase supply and, ultimately, provide much-needed homes for people,” said the Minister.

“Apart from addressing the need for social housing, the refurbishment of these unoccupied social homes also has a positive impact on communities. It prevents the decline and abandonment of vacant properties, which, in some instances, can lead to antisocial behaviour,” added Minister O’Brien.

He’s encouraging local authorities to continue to be as proactive as possible in the return of all vacant properties through the use of the Voids Funding Programme as well as other programmes such as the Buy & Renew and Repair & Lease Schemes.

“Speed in tackling vacant social housing is also critical to regeneration and improving the vitality and vibrancy of communities in towns and cities across the country. Through this ‘Housing for All’ action, we have now have shifted to a position of planned maintenance of social housing stock to ensure the fastest possible turnaround and re-let times for social housing stock,” said Minister O’Brien.

Since 2020, the Government has spent over €163 million to return 10,820 homes to active use, this is almost half (46%) of the homes returned over the lifetime of the programme since 2014 (23,315 units).