3,000 vacant local authority homes to be refurbished and re-let in 2021 – Minister O’Brien

Building on the success of last year’s record investment in the voids programme, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has today announced another voids programme for 2021 which will see his Department provide funding for the refurbishment and re-letting of approx. 3,000 social homes this year.

All 31 Local Authorities have made applications under the scheme which will see them undertake remediation works in order to bring much needed local authority owned vacant stock back to productive use.

Under the scheme the Department will cover the cost of up to €11,000 per property for the refurbishment of standard vacant properties. Recognising that a small number of homes which are vacant do require significant investment to bring them back into use local authorities can recoup an average of €50,000 per property for up to 10% of their vacant stock.

Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “I am delighted that my Department are now in a position to approve applications so that Local Authorities can get to work in bringing vacant social housing properties back into use.

“Following a 13-week construction sector shut-down we know that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on housing delivery targets and the Government have said we will do all that we can to make up for any loss. The refurbishment and re-letting of vacant social housing stock is vitally important in this regard.

“The programme will also lead to an added economic benefit with further employment generated for local builders, carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians etc.

“I would like to thank local authorities for their engagement with this programme and urge them to refurbish and re-let their homes to those on the social housing waiting list and those experiencing homelessness as soon as possible,” he concluded.