Fingal councillors must act on vacant houses – Farrell

-   Alan Farrell TD

Fingal County Councillors must act on vacant council properties, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Alan Farrell, a TD for Fingal said, “The Fianna Fáil led council in Fingal is failing people when it comes to taking action on vacant homes. We saw the evidence of this reported in the national media this week with two vacant houses on the same street in Swords, one of which has been vacant for more than a year.

“This simply isn’t good enough.

“The council is led by a Fianna Fáil mayor, and the council’s Housing Committee is chaired by a Labour councillor.

“We see constantly both the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil criticise the Government’s housing policy but that hypocrisy has been exposed again with this example in Swords.

“Since Rebuilding Ireland was introduced significant numbers of voids, or vacant local authority homes, have been brought back into use as the Government worked to ensure every possible stream of housing supply was maximised.

“On the other hand, Fianna Fáil have yet to produce a substantial housing policy that is workable – at the end of last year we saw them tout untenable ideas such as a VAT reduction for first time buyers, something that is not legal under EU rules.

“Like with everything else Fianna Fáil have shown they are capable of producing soundbites but nothing more.

“Meanwhile, under the Fine Gael-led Government, more than 50,000 new homes have been built over the last three years and as supply increases prices are moderating.

“Last year, one in four new homes built were social homes. This year, 11,000 new social homes will be provided, with 12,000 more in 2021.

“The Government has been pulling every available lever to unlock supply and ensure more homes area available to buy, rent or as social housing. In Swords for example we see work underway on homes which has been made possible due to funding of €5m for the Oldtown-Mooretown distributor road funding under the LIHAF scheme.

“This will facilitate the development of 3,200 homes in the future in the north Swords area.

“It is very easy to commentate rather than contribute but it seems when given the chance to contribute positively and bring houses on stream Fianna Fáil fall at the first hurdle,” Deputy Farrell concluded.

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