For Written Answer on : 24/01/2023
Question Number(s): 297 Question Reference(s): 2869/23
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the number of full-time vacant home officers currently in place in each respective local authority and who work exclusively on vacant home related issues per capita for each local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In January 2022, my Department communicated with local authorities outlining that funding, made available since 2018 to support the work of a Vacant Homes Office including a Vacant Homes Officer (VHO), would be increased from €50,000 to €60,000 per annum, from mid-2022.
This supports the commitment in Housing for All to ensure that VHOs are full-time. The provision of central funding reinforces the capacity of local authorities, including through the important role of VHOs, to ensure a dedicated focus on tackling vacancy and dereliction with a view to increasing the opportunities for residential development.
Local authorities were requested to arrange for the VHO position to become full-time by the end of Q2 2022 and to notify my Department accordingly. Of the 31 local authorities, 29 VHO are now on a full-time basis. I understand that recruitment is ongoing for the remaining 2 posts.