The management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including pre-letting repairs to vacant properties, responsive repairs and planned maintenance programmes, is a matter for each individual local authority, in line with section 58 of the Housing Act 1966. The challenges faced by local authorities in re-tenanting properties vary considerably, with some properties requiring minimal upgrade or re-decoration, while others require extensive and costly pre-letting works before they can be safely re-tenanted. Local authorities return vacant properties to use through their own resources but my Department also continues to provide exchequer support under the voids programme for the timely re-tenanting of social homes that become vacant and require significant investment prior to re-letting.
Local authorities will always have a certain level of vacancy in their housing stock as tenancies come to an end in the ordinary course of events. All local authorities, however, are actively encouraged to ensure all vacant properties in their stock are brought back into use as expeditiously as possible.
The National Oversight & Audit Commission (NOAC) reviews the social housing stock level in local authorities, including the number of vacant properties. 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 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.