Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (359)

Tony McLoughlin


359. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of vacant council houses in counties Mayo and Sligo; the areas in which these vacant council houses are located; the length of time each house has been vacant for; the number of these vacant council dwellings that are under repair, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28398/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The number of vacant local authority houses is one of a number of issues reported on by the National Oversight & Audit Commission (NOAC) every year.  NOAC’s activities in this regard are summarised in its Annual Performance Indicator Reports for the years 2014-2017; the most recent data on a local authority basis, including Mayo and Sligo County Council, are set out in their 2017 report, which is available on the NOAC website at the following link:  The previous annual reports are also available on the NOAC website. 

While Mayo and Sligo County Councils are responsible for the management and maintenance of their own housing stock, it should be noted that the number of vacant properties is not static. As would be expected in the management of several thousand properties, the position in relation to vacancies changes regularly, as tenants move in and out. 

My Department is continuing to engage with local authorities, to support them in returning both short and longer-term vacant properties to use as swiftly as possible, including through the Voids funding programme. Elected Councils also have a role to play in supporting this work by making adequate budgetary provision for housing repairs and maintenance, utilising the housing rental income available to them.