For Written Answer on : 25/04/2023
Question Number(s): 324 Question Reference(s): 19208/23
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if his Department has a dedicated vacant property section which deals solely with this issue; if so, the number of staff working exclusively in this section; the grade of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department has a dedicated Vacant Homes Unit, and is one of the business units in the Housing Affordability, Inclusion and Homelessness Division.
The Unit oversees, drives and supports the co-ordinated approach to addressing vacancy and efficient use of existing stock under Pathway 4 of Housing for All, the Vacant Homes Action Plan, and in the context of the Towns Centre First Policy and other relevant policies.
It supports – the work of Vacant Homes Officers (VHOs) across the Local Authorities; the operation of the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant and the Ready to Build Scheme; the implementation of the CPO Activation Programme across local authorities and; the capture of data on vacancy which can be used to activate properties, inform development and delivery of policies and schemes, and measure their effectiveness and progress being made in addressing vacancy.
There are six staff (5.5 FTE) in the Unit – a Principal Officer, an Assistant Principal Officer, a Higher Executive Officer, two Executive Officers, and a Clerical Officer.