News & Events
91% Increase in Homelessness since December 2014
Peter McVerry Trust seeks Urgent Measures to Tackle Vacant Properties
Peter McVerry Trust, the homeless and housing charity, has urged Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney TD, to fast-track measures to get empty homes back into the housing system. The charity made their call as it reacted to the latest official homeless figures which show a 91% increase in homelessness since December 2014.
Pat Doyle, CEO of the charity, said, “The latest official homeless figures show 7,148 people in emergency accommodation in the last week of December 2016. This is a 36% increase on December 2015 and a staggering 91% increase since December 2014.
“Peter McVerry Trust is urging the Minister to fast-track measures to get empty homes back into use. We have around 50,000 empty homes in Irish cities or 13 empty homes for every homeless adult. That is an intolerable and deeply frustrating situation.
“Peter McVerry Trust is calling on the Minister to support efforts to introduce a vacant property tax, and to direct and resource every local authority to establish teams of Empty Homes Officers. A comprehensive and well-resourced plan is needed, and political leadership at national and Local Government levels is required if we are to tackle these empty units.”
Mr Doyle said that returning empty homes to the housing system was quicker and more economical than new build supply. “Empty homes and commercial buildings that can be converted to residential units are the quickest wins available in the battle to make housing available for people in homelessness or on social housing waiting lists. These empty units can be tackled immediately, and will help while we wait for a time when new build construction starts to impact on housing needs and waiting lists.”
Francis Doherty – Head of Communications – 087 9421 051