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3,000 vacant local authority homes targeted for refurbishment in 2021

Additional Government support to refurbish and re-let 96 homes in Waterford this year.

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins and spokesman on Housing, Local Government and Heritage has welcomed the news that there will be a significant national voids programme rolled out again this year, on the back of last year’s success which brought 3607 units back into use at a cost of €56.4 million.

Senator Cummins said “Waterford city and county council is one of the top performing Local Authorities in the country when it comes to voids which is a result of the policy decisions taken a number of years ago and I would like to compliment the team at Waterford council for acting quickly to turn around properties and get them re-let. As a result, we have less voids than other Local Authorities which is a positive but this funding will assist with the voids that we do have here in Waterford.

“I’m particularly glad to see the allocation of approximately €500,000 to bring at least 10 units which are in very poor order back into habitable use. While most works will average at €11,000 per unit, some properties do require significant additional works owing to them being a long term voids and damaged by fire or water.

Senator Cummins added “I have held a number of meetings with Minister O’Brien and Burke recently and the need to give Local Authorities an early decision on this year’s voids programme was something I emphasised at every turn. Last years voids programme was only announced in July with funding allocated in September, so I believe the early announcement of this funding will ensure we see more than 3000 social homes brought back into use nationally which is hugely welcome.

He concluded by saying “Following a 13-week construction sector shut-down we know that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on housing delivery targets and the Government have said we will do all that we can to make up for any loss. The refurbishment and re-letting of vacant social housing stock is vitally important in this regard. The programme will also lead to an added economic benefit with further employment generated for builders, carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians etc.

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