Minister O’Brien welcomes response to 2020 Voids Stimulus Programme

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed the response to the 2020 Voids Stimulus Programme which will see up to 2,500 social housing units refurbished and re-let to individuals and families, struggling with homelessness or on the social housing list.

As part of the July Stimulus Programme Minister O’Brien announced over €40 million for the refurbishment of voids, the largest single amount ever announced under the voids programme. Nationally 2,398 applications from Local Authorities across Ireland have been approved at a cost of €39.8 million, with further applications anticipated.

All 31 Local Authorities have made applications which are categorised into three funding streams: standard voids at an average cost of approximately €11,500, homeless voids at an average cost of €17,300 and long-term voids at an average cost of €47,000.

Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “I am very glad to see such an uptake in the scheme and at such a swift pace. The Department is now in a position to approve applications and Local Authorities can get to work in bringing vacant social housing units back into use.

“I have made it very clear that I want to see works carried out and all units allocated by the end of this year and local authorities will be providing status updates to the Department.

“We know that COVID-19 has had an impact on housing delivery targets this year so the refurbishment and re-letting of voids is vitally important. I would like to thank local authorities for their engagement with this programme and urge them to refurbish and re-let their units as soon as possible,” he concluded.