60 vacant social houses in Laois, 28 in Offaly and 46 in Westmeath were brought back into active use in 2022 with support of the Voids Programme.
My thanks and appreciation to the Local Authority teams in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath who are working to reduce the number of vacant social homes. This is a common sense and a value for money approach which directly and positively impacts on those waiting for homes. I am delighted that the Voids programme, which is a Government fund to bring empty Local Authority homes back into active use, is benefiting people at a time of a housing shortage.
This approach, and the many others to tackle vacancy, make sense from an environmental perspective. Existing properties have embodied carbon and it is generally better for the environment to reuse than to build from new. I’m aware that many of the homes returned to active use under the Voids programme received energy efficiency upgrades and will be cosier and less costly to run. It’s a double benefit.
Today, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, published figures which show that nationally 2,307 vacant social homes, and their new occupiers, benefited from the Programme. This represented a total investment of nearly €1.5m in the 3 counties of Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.