Vacant houses must be put to use

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INDEPENDENT TD Michael Collins has called on the Government to consider using the 260,000 vacant houses across the country to help with the Housing Crisis, which has left families homeless in every county.

‘In order to achieve this, the building control and regulation process must be changed if we are to fast track the utilisation of these vacant or derelict buildings,’ Deputy Collins said. Also there are many vacant homes in rural Ireland located over commercial properties, I raised awareness of this issue and gave the example of my own home town of Schull in West Cork, where are very few families lived over commercial premises. This trend which has been occurring over the past 20 years, has impacted very negatively on our towns and villages.’

‘I propose that we should be encouraging families to take up residence over shops and commercial units by offering refurbishment grants. The refurbishment of the existing vacant residential and commercial units will serve a number of purposes,’ Deputy Collins continued. Firstly, this would provide a much needed home for a family. It will enhance the appearance of the street, town or village, and improve the overall cohesion. It will give the residents a greater sense of ownership of the street, town, village and a greater sense of community, which invariably promotes a degree of responsibility and commitment.’

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