Local authority houses boarded up in Dun Laoghaire in midst of crisis 

by Alex Greaney
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Alex Greaney 

There are 98,171 people on housing waiting lists, 54,468 households or people in receipt of the housing assistance payment HAP, and 10,603 in the Rental Accommodation Scheme RAS. 

Dublin City Council currently owns 712 vacant houses. Cork City Council has 350, Limerick City and County Council has 228, while Cork County Council has 184, followed by Wicklow with 175, Donegal with 171, Kerry with 149 and Galway City with 127.  

Mairead Toibin, Area Rep for Aontu in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown says: “In DLRCOCO alone there are 45 vacant local authority houses. The average time it is taking to relet council homes has been increasing steadily since 2018 and has averaged almost eight months in 2021 alone. In the last week or so I have come across boarded up houses in Dun Laoghaire that, by all accounts, are sitting idle even longer than 8 months. This is not only unacceptable, it is absolutely mind boggling. Why the inordinate delay? 

“I’m not being unrealistic; I accept that there will always be a certain amount of time between a local authority home being vacated and relet. However, there seems to be a growing dysfunction in some arms of the state when dealing with housing.  It seems to be a mix of bureaucracy, red tape, poor management, lack of staff, and inefficiency, all of which combine to make the provision of housing appallingly slow. Homelessness is a national crisis and a national disgrace. 

“It’s a terrible indictment on this Government, there is no cohesion in their housing policies whatsoever. They are haemorrhaging tax payers money and still cannot even begin to come to grips with the issue. 

“According to Aontú’s findings, there are plenty empty local authority homes in the state to house well over half the number of people who are homeless. Much of the focus of the political bubble has been on the large number of empty homes in private hands. However, we in Aontú believe that it’s unforgivable that state bodies themselves preside over empty homes. Thousands of homeless people, including 4,000 children are living in emergency accommodation throughout the country at great human cost to themselves and at great financial cost to the state,” Ms. Toibin stressed.

This data was secured by Aontú under the Freedom of Information Act to all local authorities in the country.  

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