Cian O'Callaghan TD

The government must urgently introduce a tax on vacant buildings

New figures confirming there are more than 100,000 vacant and derelict homes across the country are further evidence the government’s housing policy is failing, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan was commenting after GeoDirectory published new figures which revealed 90,158 dwellings were vacant in the fourth quarter of 2021. In addition, 22,096 dwellings were recorded as derelict.

“These figures provide further evidence that the government’s housing policy is failing. The fact that Ireland has more than 9,000 people who are homeless, and more than 90,000 homes that are vacant, is a damning indictment of the government.

“Almost one in 20 homes across the state are empty. This is a conservative estimate. On the night of the last census in 2016, there were 316,605 empty homes in Ireland. More than 180,000 of these showed no sign of use in the previous three months.

“The government is doing nothing about this. They are sitting on their hands. Using the existing building is the most environmentally sustainable approach. It is also the most socially sustainable approach.

“The government must urgently introduce a tax on vacant buildings; use Compulsory Purchase Orders to turn vacant houses into homes; and introduce Compulsory Sale Orders to get some of these properties into use. This crisis will not solve itself – the government must take action.”

18 January, 2022


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