Peter McVerry Trust is hosting Ireland’s first ever conference on the issue of empty homes in Dublin today. The charity, which has had a long running campaign on the issue, believes empty homes offer a crucial source of accommodation in the coming years and are pushing for high intensity approach.
Speaking at the conference opening the CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, Pat Doyle, said “Peter McVerry Trust decided to organise the conference to develop evidence based responses to the issue of empty homes. The conference concentrates on key areas such as understanding how many buildings are actually vacant, how we overcome planning challenges when returning the buildings to use and examining successful international models of tackling empty homes and dereliction.”
“We hope that the conference will result in clearly identified steps to solve the issue of empty homes. Peter McVerry Trust has already put forward a series of proposals to the Housing Agency, the Department of Housing and the Oireachtas Committee on Housing in 2017. We are also engaging with Minister Coveney as he prepares to finalise his Empty Homes Strategy by the end of March.”
Concluding Mr Doyle said “Ultimately, what Peter McVerry Trust wants to achieve is more housing across the housing system for people to rent or buy. We believe that under the repair and leasing scheme 50% of the social housing leases should be reserved for homeless households until such time as we eliminate long term homelessness. Our hope is that the Government’s Empty Homes Strategy will lay the foundations for a long term sustainable approach to reducing the number of empty homes and that the strategy offers a high intensity approach to the issue.”