According to new figures obtained by the Social Democrats, Fingal County Council has acquired only 33 vacant dwellings in the first five months of the year.

Commenting on the figures, Social Democrats representative for Castleknock and Blanchardstown, Aengus Ó Maoláin said:

“Astonishingly, this paltry number actually puts Fingal ahead of every other local authority in the State.I am pleased to see Fingal County Council are actively engaging with what supports there are available from Government, but would expect to see much more activity on this front in the future.

“There are houses and apartments lying empty in almost every estate in Dublin 15, while 5,599 people are homeless in Dublin right now. Meanwhile the Council’s vacant site register has been empty since January, showing a lack of coordination that is very concerning.”

Mr Ó Maoláin added:

“The government’s abysmal record in tackling the housing and homelessness crisis is even more clearly exposed with new figures showing that households are spending almost a fifth of their budgets on housing. According to new CSO statistics the proportion of household expenditure on housing has more than doubled since 1999 from 9.6 percent to 19.4 percent.

“Families are stretched farther than ever just as a property boom is starting to rear its ugly head yet again. People are really vulnerable now as every spare cent has to be put away to keep a roof over their heads.

“The new housing minister, Eoghan Murphy has today announced that the government’s target of ‘practically eliminating’ emergency accommodation by June will be missed. This should come as no surprise to anyone.

“The fact is that Simon Coveney’s term as Minister for Housing was disastrous, with an almost 25% increase in homelessness in the year he was in office. The new Minister, and the government as a whole need to completely change their attitude to the housing crisis. Councils must be empowered and funded to acquire vacant sites, and to build social housing.”

ENDS

22 June 2017