Peter McVerry Trust, the housing and homeless charity, has strongly welcomed a decision by Dublin City Council to prioritise the use of empty homes to house homeless individuals and families. The charity was reacting to a letter issued to housing associations ahead of the roll out of the Government’s new Repair and Leasing scheme in April.
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said “We strongly feel that empty homes, derelict sites and other underused spaces have an enormous role to play in tackling the housing and homeless crisis. They will offer quick wins at a time of acute need.”
“It is very encouraging that Dublin City Council, in its correspondence to housing associations, has made clear that they plan to prioritise the use renovated empty homes to meet the needs of individuals and families currently in emergency accommodation. This is something that Peter McVerry Trust has been advocating for and something that we are glad to see reflected in Dublin City Council’s plans. We certainly hope that other local authorities will now follow this course of action.”
Continuing Mr Doyle said “Empty Homes is an area which we have been working on for some time. We will launch the latest in a long line of empty homes projects in Dublin city centre in a few weeks’ time. That will bring our total of empty homes to 50 in the last two years. Our experience to date has shown that these empty buildings, of which there are thousands across the country, offer cost effective and speedy opportunities to provide high quality homes for people in need.”
In the letter to Housing Associations yesterday Dublin City Council said that it intends to divide the city into sections and invite housing associations to express an interest in a specific zone with a view to getting empty homes back into use. Peter McVerry Trust said it is also pursuing plans to extend its empty home work to Kildare and Limerick.