Cllr Madeleine Johansson said the response by the Department of Housing to the council’s call to declare a housing emergency was “pathetic”.

South Dublin County Council have been slammed for a “lack of action” on vacant properties.

Clondalkin councillor Madeleine Johansson (PBP) made the comments following a motion at the Clondalkin Area Committee.

The official report revealed that 19 vacant properties had been identified in Clondalkin, but officials said that the locations or actions taken could not be made public.

Cllr Johansson called for urgent action to be taken to bring the properties into use.

She said: “It is no longer acceptable for any property owner to speculate on empty units or sites. I urge members of the public to report any vacant homes in your area to vacanthomes.ie.”

The motion expressed solidarity with housing activists around Dublin occupying empty properties and called on South Dublin County Council to draw up a list of empty properties and a plan of action.

The official report revealed that 19 vacant properties had been identified in Clondalkin, but officials said that the locations or actions taken could not be made public.

Cllr Johansson called for urgent action to be taken to bring the properties into use.
She said: “No houses should be left vacant in the middle of the worst housing crisis in the history of the state and actions should be taken immediately to compulsory purchase these properties so that families can be moved in.

“The public should have a right to know where vacant units are located and what actions are being taken by the authorities.

In response to Cllr Johansson’s motion, South Dublin County said it has the lowest vacancy rate in the country, at 3.6%.

The council report added: ”In accordance with the National Vacant Housing Re-use Strategy 2018-2021, each local authority was required to identify the scale of vacant homes and develop plans to address vacancy within their administrative area.

“[This would be achieved by] categorising those homes by location, ownership and reason for vacancy and subsequently to identify those properties that have the potential to be refurbished and made available for use.

“There are currently 19 vacant units identified within the Clondalkin local electoral area.
“The council’s vacant homes officer acts as central advisory point for property owners in terms of providing advice, assistance and information on these schemes which are available to bring properties back to use.”

The council said there are several initiatives in place with the aim of encouraging and enabling privately owned vacant homes to be brought back in to use.

These include the Repair and Leasing Scheme, the Buy and Renew Scheme, Long- Term Leasing, the Rental Accommodation Scheme and HAP.

The report stated the Housing Agency is engaging with banks, financial institutions and investors to purchase suitable units for social housing use.

“The aim in the first instance would be to encourage property owners to engage with the council and find solutions for the vacant home units without having to resort to the Compulsory Purchase process.

“However, local authorities do have a range of legislative powers available to deal with under-utilised and derelict properties, for example, through the Compulsory Purchase Powers and Derelict Sites Legislation.”