Revamp of 52 units ‘a drop in the ocean’

by Gazette Reporter

Funding of €823,000 is to be invested to bring 52 disused local authority units in Fingal back into use as part of a year-long campaign by former Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan.
Meanwhile 9,000 people are waiting for a home in Fingal.
This campaign will see €30m invested and nearly 2,000 vacant houses returned to beneficial use across the country.
Cllr Natalie Treacy (SF) welcomed the allocation of the funding but asserts that more is needed. She said: “I welcome the announcement of new funding for the refurbishment of local authority units in Fingal by Minister O’Sullivan.
“Unfortunately with the housing waiting list now at crisis level … €823,000 that will bring 52 units back into use is a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed. This announcement will be of little comfort to the three families I have dealt with who this week alone are homeless and living in emergency accommodation.
“Sinn Fein have outlined how we would tackle the housing crisis. Using €1bn from the Strategic Investment Fund, Sinn Fein would invest in the social housing stock.
“A significant increase of social housing is vital if the growing housing need in this State is to be tackled effectively. This money could fund the commencement of work on 6,585 new homes and the renovation of a further 150 long-term vacant homes over the course of 18 months.”
The sentiments of Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Ted Leddy (FG) were in a similar vein. He said: “I was pleased with the announcement but a lot more needs to be done to sort out the housing shortage crisis. More needs to be done to get people off the housing list, but also to get people into home ownership as well.”
Incoming Health Minister O’Sullivan said: “I am determined to use every lever available to me to increase the number of social homes.
“One of the biggest scandals of recent years has been the high number of vacant, boarded up local authority homes. (These) allocations will refurbish 1,008 of these units and transform them into family homes. It brings to €30m the amount invested in this important programme this year. ”
She said the investment would create and sustain hundreds of jobs in the construction sector.
In framing proposals local authorities were encouraged to examine the role that community based organisations who recruit, train and engage long-term unemployed people can play in the refurbishment programme.

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