A loan may be offered to vacant-home owners

In reference to Loan scheme aims to bring vacant homes into use by Paul Melia on 29 June 2017 in Independent.

A possible solution to the shortage of housing in Ireland: a local authority loan could be offered to property owners of vacant housing. This solution came about when it was heard that 80,000 vacant housing was available in high demand urban areas from the 2016 Census. About 100,000 units are vacant in non-urban areas, excluding holiday homes. Data shows Ireland’s vacancy rate is at 9 percent while UK is only at 2.5 percent.

Chairman of the Housing Agency Conor Skehan worries about the impact on Ireland’s competitiveness if the housing shortage issue is not addressed. Affordability is essential to Ireland’s competitiveness and the housing costs drives wage costs so if housing is imbalanced Ireland’s competitiveness may be in trouble.

The one stipulation of this loan is it has to be affordable housing. This could raise the issue to some houses in areas not usually affordable.

This loan, however, can be just what an owner needs to get a push to rent out their property. Especially if the reason it’s vacant is because there isn’t enough funds to refurbish it.

This solution is going to take a lot of work though. The locating and pinpointing all the exact locations of vacant homes might be the most difficult. Then they have to then find out how long these properties have been vacant and why.

If some vacant properties are owned by private developers, they will have to provide information on the plans to show the affordability of the units for the local authority loan.

The first draft of the vacant home strategy has been completely already but is quoted “not ambitious enough” by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. A lot more research is being poured into this to make sure the strategy is targeted and accurate to provide the most positive effect.

Steps are being made in the Irish government to make sure the housing shortage is controlled. This strategy may give more opportunity for families to obtain a home or rent a unit.

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