Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2924)

Mattie McGrath


2924. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the unoccupied council houses by the length of time unoccupied, by municipal area in County Tipperary; the estimated cost of bringing the houses back into public use; the funding being made available to Tipperary County Council for same in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33420/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The National Oversight & Audit Commission (NOAC) reviews the social housing stock levels in local authorities every year, including the number of vacant local authority houses at a particular point in time. NOAC’s activities in this regard are summarised in its Annual Performance Indicator Reports and the most recent data on a local authority basis, including for Tipperary County Council, are set out in the 2017 report which is available on the NOAC website at the following link:

http://noac.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/NOAC-Performance-Indicators-Report-2017.pdf .

The previous annual reports are also available on the NOAC website.

While the NOAC statistics set out the number of vacant local authority houses at a particular point in time, local authorities together, own and manage circa 130,000 social homes where there are tenants moving in and out on a continuous basis. Accordingly the number of social homes that are occupied or vacant at any given time changes continuously.

The management and maintenance of their own housing stock, including refurbishing and re-letting properties and dealing with tenancies starting or ending, are matters for each individual local authority, in line with Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966. My Department does not have data on Tipperary County Council's housing stock in terms of length of time that properties have been unoccupied across the municipal areas. This information should be available from the authority itself, along with information on likely costs of bringing the properties back into use.

While the management and maintenance of their own housing stock is a matter for each individual local authority, my Department is continuing to support them in returning both vacant properties to use as swiftly as possible, including through the Voids funding programme. For the period of 2014 to 2018, Tipperary County Council received over €5.5 million from the exchequer, to support their work in refurbishing some 473 properties and that support will continue in 2019.