Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (118)

Brendan Smith

Question:

118. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will ensure substantial funding for a voids programme in 2021 in view of the success of the voids programme in 2020; if the allocations will be made to the local authorities at an early date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7765/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including pre-letting repairs to vacant properties, the implementation of a planned maintenance programme and carrying out of responsive repairs, are matters for each individual local authority under Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966.

Since 2014, Exchequer funding has also been provided through my Department's Voids Programme to support local authorities in preparing vacant units for re-letting. This funding was introduced originally to tackle long term vacant units and is now increasingly targeted to support local authorities to ensure minimal turnaround and re-let times for vacant stock.

My Department will continue to support local authorities in their work in this area. As in previous years, all local authorities will be asked to make a funding application under the 2021 programme in respect of their vacant stock which will receive due consideration and funding allocations will issue to all local authorities.

It is also important that local authorities increasingly move toward a preventative maintenance approach to the management of their housing stock and my Department is working with local authorities to this end.