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Existing Housing


Existing Housing

Pillar Five: Utilise Existing Housing


Ensuring the existing housing stock is used to the maximum degree possible – focus on measures to use vacant stock and to renew urban and rural areas.

Introducing an integrated plan to bring vacant and under-utilised housing stock back into use for both private and social housing purposes.

A planned investment of €70 million by the Housing Agency to acquire 1,600 vacant properties, particularly from portfolios for sale from financial institutions and investors for social housing purposes. As of 30 June 2018, the Agency had bids accepted on 645 properties. Contracts have been signed for 454 units and 404 of these purchases have closed. The process of selling properties on to Approved Housing Bodies is underway.

A new repair and leasing initiative will be piloted by Waterford City and County Council and Carlow County Council, with a view to nationwide application. This will allow for grants to be provided to prospective landlords to bring properties up to standard, where they are entering cost effective leases for social and affordable housing. This scheme is now available nationwide.

We will remove existing barriers to the quick conversion and re-use of vacant or under-utilised city and town centre commercial premises for residential purposes and support wider urban regeneration, with new measures to be brought forward by the end of 2016.

For an information leaflet on all the supports available to owners of vacant properties, click here.

Pillar Actions

  • We’ll provide funding to ensure that vacant social housing is rapidly re-let and put in place a choice-based lettings approach for people on waiting lists.
  • We’ll buy 1,600 empty houses held by banks and financial institutions for social housing.
  • We’ll introduce a Vacant Housing Repair and Leasing Initiative to incentivise owners to refurbish and rent out vacant homes for social housing.
  • We’ll make it easier for vacant and under-used commercial property to be used for residential purposes.
  • We’ll encourage and incentivise town, village and rural renewal schemes to revitalise town centres and villages.

National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy 2018-2021

Pillar 5 of Rebuilding Ireland sets out a range of measures to assist in meeting Ireland’s housing needs by ensuring that Ireland’s existing housing stock is used to the greatest extent possible.

An overarching action within that Pillar is a commitment to develop a National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy. This Strategy strives to provide a targeted, effective and co-ordinated approach to identifying and tackling vacancy across Ireland. The Strategy contains a range of objectives and key actions which will be pursued in partnership with stakeholders and agencies across the housing sector to address vacancy in our housing stock. The Strategy and the accompanying Executive Summary are set out below.

Further information on the Strategy can be obtained by e-mailing the dedicated address: vhu@housing.gov.ie

Pillar One: Address Homelessness

Pillar Two: Accelerate Social Housing

Pillar Three: Build More Homes

Pillar Four: Improve the Rental Sector

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