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'It's really a sin' - Tackling Tipperary's vacant housing problem

Almost every town across the country is affected by vacant buildings. The 2016 Census showed over...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.59 28 Jun 2021


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'It's really a sin' - Tackling...

'It's really a sin' - Tackling Tipperary's vacant housing problem

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.59 28 Jun 2021


Share this article


Almost every town across the country is affected by vacant buildings.

The 2016 Census showed over 245,460 vacant dwellings in Ireland, amid fresh calls on the Government to make use of them.

There are also calls for property owners to sign up for a re-using scheme.

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However in Tipperary alone, it is estimated there are possibly up to 3,000 vacant dwellings.

Work is now being done to identify them and try to bring some of them back into the housing market.

Reporter Josh Crosbie for The Hard Shoulder spoke with Independent Thurles Councillor Jim Ryan.

He says: "For a county that's crying out for housing, it's really a sin to see so many houses lying vacant which could be used for social housing or rental purposes.

"It's a huge concern, it's an issue that's been raised at county council meetings down through the years but the matter seems to be getting worse.

"And we have schemes there to try and encourage landlords to rent out their houses, but unfortunately they failed miserably."

Councillor Ryan says the banks should also be doing more.

"The banks need to play a better role here: there's a lot of houses, fantastic houses... that have been repossessed by the banks.

"They've left these houses idle for a number of years, the houses have become vandalised, there's a lot of anti-social behaviour, illegal dumping, they've become overgrown and there's a lot of vermin in the area as well.

"We cannot contact the banks - and that's something the Government need to act on".

Mapping the homes

Tony O'Neill is vacant homes officer with Tipperary County Council.

"I'm identifying vacant properties throughout the county of Tipperary, and the aim of it is to contact - or to try to contact - the owners of the properties, and to look at maybe why a property is vacant.

"And also to look at how we can assist people in turning them around."

Tony says he uses a system known as the GeoDirectory to help him.

"It's a collaboration between An Post and the Ordinance Survey, and what it does is it provide information on properties throughout the county, and indeed any county.

"I get a database from that of what are noted as vacant properties, and that's a fantastic starting point for me.

"The system allows me the ability then to map it".

He also wants councillors in their areas to bring properties to his attention.

"I want them to know that they can come to me... he can facilitate a meeting with an owner of a property and go through the options with them, and what we're offering".

'It's really a sin' - Tackling Tipperary's vacant housing problem

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: A vacant property in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Picture by: Josh Crosbie/Newstalk

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2016 Census Councillor Jim Ryan Housing Problem The Hard Shoulder Tipperary Tipperary County Council Tony O'Neill Vacant Buildings Vacant Homes Officer Vacant Housing

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