Emer Higgins T.D. has criticised the low up-take of the Repair and Leasing Scheme in South Dublin. She has said that this scheme, despite proving a hugely successful way of delivering one and two-bed accommodation units, is being ignored locally. “I would strongly encourage South Dublin County Council to make more use of the Repair and Leasing Scheme which was established to help boost housing supply. This scheme under the Government’s housing plan, Rebuilding Ireland, assists owners in bringing vacant properties back into use as social homes. It has proven very successful in Waterford where it has delivered almost half of all one and two bed units in the past number of years; yet here in South Dublin we’re virtually ignoring the programme,” said local T.D. Emer Higgins
“Zero is the sum of money our Council has drawn down under the Repair and Leasing Scheme in the past year. In fact, the Council has not drawn down any funding through this initiative in the past 3 years. This compares to almost €2m being drawn down by Waterford City and County Council,” continued Deputy Higgins. “Where a property requires repairs to bring it up to the standard for required for rented properties, the Repair and Leasing Scheme will pay for the repairs up-front in return for the property being made available to be used as social housing for a period of at least 5 years under either a direct lease or Rental Availability Arrangement with the local authority. Waterford has seen long term leases of 15 years because of this scheme. “There is definitely scope here for South Dublin County Council to utilise the scheme more to avail of funding to bring more social homes into operation. I believe the Council should be exploring better ways of promoting this scheme which could involve a publicity campaign aimed at homeowners,” concluded Deputy Emer Higgins.