Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised the government for failing to deliver on its vacant home’s strategy. According to information received in response to a parliamentary question, only 1,462 homes have been delivered to date via three government schemes; Repair and Lease, Buy and Renew, and the Housing Agency Fund. The government’s target across all three schemes was 5,600.
Responding to the figures, Deputy Ó Broin said: “The information I received in response to a parliamentary question indicates that, since the three vacant homes schemes were introduced, only 1,462 homes have been brought into use out of a target of 5,600. “Only 165 homes had been brought back into use under the Repair and Lease scheme by the end of 2019, which is dismal considering Minister Coveney set a target to deliver 3,500 homes by 2021. “550 new social homes have been delivered via Buy and Renew up to the end of 2019. Only 747 homes have been purchased out of the €70m rolling Housing Agency fund, despite 1,600 homes targeted for delivery by 2020 in Rebuilding Ireland and 1,800 homes being offered.
“This is a pathetic rate of return given the census identified 189,000 vacant homes across the country in 2016 and the Geo Directories confirmed 90,000 of this figure. “The Repair and Leasing scheme has been a failure. Despite the 3,500-target set by Minister Coveney, three and a half years in and despite tweaks to the scheme in 2018, the government has only reached 4.7% of its target. “The Housing Agency €70m rolling fund has only acquired 747 homes as of the end of 2019. It is disappointing that despite 1,800 homes being offered and a target of 1,600 properties to be delivered by 2020, purchases have only been completed on 445 of these homes by Approved Housing Bodies. “It is clear that the government never put its full weight in terms of funding or support towards these schemes. Greater flexibility should have been demonstrated and more support should have been given to smaller, more rural local authorities. “If Sinn Féin forms part of the next government we would insist on an immediate, time-limited review of these schemes with a view to setting ambitious targets for the return of vacant homes back into use.”