Director of Services at Mayo County Council and driving force behind the vacanthomes.ie initiative, Tom Gilligan, has expressed gratitude for the public’s support in registering vacant homes right across Ireland. 

Last month the team behind the online platform appealed to members of the public for help identifying vacant homes that have the potential to be brought back into use in time to house a family for Christmas. The public response has been tremendous and this has resulted in a 10% increase in the number of empty homes registered on the website. 

VacantHomes.ie appealed for owners of vacant homes to partner with their local authority to fund and carry out the necessary upgrading works in order to get these homes ready for families this side of Christmas. The increase in properties registered over the past six weeks has been heartening and the team at VacantHomes.ie would like to thank the public’s efforts in getting involved in this important initiative at such a crucial time.  

To date, the vacant homes website has seen 3,460 properties registered with Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Louth, Meath, Kildare, and Mayo recording the greatest number of registrations. Properties registered with the province of Leinster show the highest percentage recorded at 47% Munster has 34%, Connacht 15% and Ulster 4%. The number of properties brought or in the process of being brought back into use is 300. Of the properties logged thus far, Detached 33%, Semi- Detached 31%, Terraced 26%, Flats /Apt 6% and Other 4%.

The latest homelessness figures reveal that 10,514 people, including children, are living in emergency accommodation. These figures show an increase of 117 people compared to September of this year. Vacant homeowners have been urged to come forward, particularly in areas where there is a housing need, to provide an opportunity and a fresh beginning for those that are currently experiencing homelessness. Several government schemes are available, under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, to assist property owners in getting their unit back into use. VacantHomes.ie is continuously driving innovation across our housing sector and will further enhance its digital offering to reach more people and register more vacant homes over the coming year.  The team is also assisting local authorities around the country to embrace emerging tools and technologies to help tackle the current housing crisis. 

Tom Gilligan, Director of Services with Mayo County Council, is thankful for the public efforts towards solving the housing crisis and said, “Given the current homeless figures, bringing vacant homes back into use and increasing the supply of housing units is now more important than ever. I want to thank the public and everyone involved in getting in contact with us and the ambition now is to turn those empty properties into homes as soon as possible.”

VacantHomes.ie has a vision to help Ireland significantly reduce its quantity of empty homes. The information obtained from people using this site will allow for the creation of new homes from existing vacant and/or derelict houses and apartments. This will also help towards meeting Ireland’s housing needs in an environmentally sustainable manner. The VacantHomes.ie team is continuing to seek the public’s help in identifying empty homes in their local areas by simply logging onto the platform and registering the property.

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