Tackle ‘crisis with houses’ in rural Ireland
European Parliamentary candidate Peter Casey has called for action to tackle thousands of abandoned houses across rural Ireland.
According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office, Mr Casey’s Midlands-North-West constituency has more than 75,000 vacant houses.
He says the government and local authorities should develop initiatives “take over vacant houses that have clearly been abandoned” to provide much-needed housing stock.
“Midlands-North-West has a staggering number of vacant homes. It’s sickening to read that there are almost 800 people registered as homeless in a region with more than 75,000 properties lying empty. A small fraction of that number would be more than enough to cater for the homeless or those facing homelessness in the counties of the constituency.
“That there is a housing crisis with such soaring vacancy rates in Midlands-North-West defies belief. Our most rural counties, such as Donegal with 11,704 and Mayo with 10,597 vacant homes, are where the problem is most acutely felt. However, this is a major issue in all of the counties in this constituency and beyond. What we have throughout rural Ireland is a crisis with houses – it is time to tackle this crisis.
“We need to take over vacant houses that have clearly been abandoned. The government should give the owners 12 months to face up to their responsibilities and rent or sell them. If owners do not comply, the government should be empowered to auction off the properties with owners receiving the net proceeds.
“There are abandoned houses all over rural Ireland which are falling into disrepair – some sitting idle for up to ten years. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”