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For Written Answer on : 13/05/2021
Question Number(s): 263,264,265 Question Reference(s): 25398/21, 25405/21, 25407/21
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 properties that have been registered on a website (details supplied) in each year since it was established by county; the number of these properties that have been brought back into use in each of these years by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 13 May, 2021.

* To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the local authorities that have put in place a vacant homes action plan as required by circular PL7/2017; if he has received feedback on the effectiveness or otherwise of these action plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 13 May, 2021.

* To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the additional supports that his Department has made available to the respective local authorities to enable them to appoint vacant home officers; the number of such officers appointed by each local authority in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 13 May, 2021.


(See attached file: Table 3 for PQs 25398+25405+25407.xlsx)

The National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy, which was published by my Department in 2018, strives to provide a targeted, effective and co-ordinated approach to identifying and tackling vacancy across Ireland.  To assist local authorities in achieving this objective, my Department has, since 2018, provided funding to each local authority of €50,000 per annum. This funding is to support the work of a Vacant Homes Office, including a Vacant Homes Officer for each local authority.

The provision of central funding provides for focus to be given to the role of the Office and reinforces the capacity of the Department’s Vacant Homes Unit to liaise with and seek information/statistics from a dedicated contact point within each local authority. All 31 local authorities have claimed their funding up to June 2021 and this funding has been secured up to June 2022.  

Table 1 below lists the number of Vacant Homes Officers in each local authority on a full or part-time basis:

 Table 1

    Local Authority       No. of Vacant Homes Officers        Full-time        Part-time    
Carlow1 1
Cavan1 1
Cork City1 1
Cork County2 2
Donegal1 1
Dublin City312
Dun     Laoghaire1 1
Fingal1 1
Galway City1 1
Galway County1 1
Kildare1 1
Kilkenny1 1
Laois1 1
Leitrim1 1
Limerick1 1
Longford1 1
Louth1 1
Mayo1 1
Meath2 2
Monaghan2 2
Offaly1 1
Roscommon1 1
Sligo2 2
South Dublin1 1
Tipperary1 1
Waterford1 1
Westmeath1 1
Wexford1 1
Wicklow1 1

Each of the 31 local authorities have prepared a Vacant Homes Action Plan for their administrative area. The Vacant Home Action Plan identifies the scale of vacant homes in a local authority’s jurisdiction and sets ambitious but realistic targets of the number of vacant homes that can ultimately be brought back into use.

As emphasised in the National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy, securing improved data and analysis on vacancy allows for more robust monitoring of vacancy at a national level and improved outputs at local level. To help record levels of vacancy, the website has been developed by Mayo County Council on behalf of the local government sector. This provides a central portal for individuals to anonymously log possible vacant properties and alert local authorities to those properties.  As appropriate, Vacant Homes Officers  can then follow up with the owners to see whether the house can be re-used quickly.

The latest statistics from indicate that 5,210 properties have been recorded on the website since 2017.

Table 2 below indicates the number of properties registered on by year and county:

Table 2

Vacant Homes Logged
Local AuthorityDec 2017Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 202011 May 2021
Dublin City247350436499542
Cork City73113136166178
Cork County1773625886671072
Limerick City818384549
Limerick County2346112138147
Waterford City828425158
Waterford County165783104124
Galway City2755102124129
Galway County6492107129137
 Grand Total14572230347844145210

Table 3 in the excel spreadsheet attached provides the number of properties brought back into use by year and county under the Repair and Lease Scheme, the Housing Agency Acquisitions Fund and the Buy and Renew Scheme.  These are the three key supports available from my Department to owners to bring vacant housing stock back into use as social housing.  

 Repair and Lease Housing Agency Acquisition FundBuy and Renew Totals 
Local Authority201720182019202020172018201920202017-2020 
Carlow County Council022001603243
Cavan County Council0000041016
Clare County Council000004212835
Cork City Council001107014353
Cork County Council1203235333106
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council100008611329
Donegal County Council00001730112
Dublin City Council101597172158200
Fingal County Council072001797640160
Galway City Council00001448118
Galway County Council000211740024
Kerry County Council000494424265
Kildare County Council00107361416882
Kilkenny County Council01000542719
Laois County Council0010119402146
Leitrim County Council00000311611
Limerick City and County Council0845098569108
Longford County Council060003311124
Louth County Council001007318395
Mayo County Council00280231420
Meath County Council01003141425185
Monaghan County Council041103001928
Offaly County Council00000840517
Roscommon County Council0210011139
Sligo County Council0000013015
South Dublin County Council0000536199069
Tipperary County Council0100029912363
Waterford City and County Council63541310145447183
Westmeath County Council01001732418
Wexford County Council211014111221558
Wicklow County Council00000934117