Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government, Darragh O’Brien TD.Photo: Darragh O’Brien TD/Facebo

€47m to bring vacant social homes into use

Almost 3,000 vacant social homes in Cork were brought back into active use over the past decade according to the latest Government figures.

Between 2014 and 2023, 1,624 homes in Cork city and 1,303 homes in Cork county came back into use under the Voids Funding Programme.

The figures also show that cumulatively €47 million was spent in order to renovate and refurbish the homes across Cork city and county.

The Voids Funding Programme supports local authorities in preparing vacant homes for re-letting and builds on the ongoing work to tackle vacancy and dereliction to bring vacant properties into re-use for housing.

Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government, Darragh O’Brien, said the return to use of vacant properties will help to reduce pressure on existing housing stock, increase supply, and ultimately, provide much needed homes for people.

“Apart from addressing the need for social housing, the refurbishment of these unoccupied social homes also has a positive impact on communities. It prevents the decline and abandonment of vacant properties, which, in some instances, can lead to antisocial behaviour,” said Minister O’Brien.

The Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government is encouraging all local authorities to continue to be as proactive as possible in the return of vacant properties to use through a number of different schemes.

Minister O’Brien continued: “Speed in tackling vacant social housing is also critical to regeneration and improving the vitality and vibrancy of communities in towns and cities across the country.

“Through this Housing for All action we have now have shifted to a position of planned maintenance of social housing stock to ensure the fastest possible turnaround and re-let times for social housing stock,” the minister concluded.