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Record Numbers of Vacant Social Homes Brought Back into Use in Wicklow - Matthews

Green TD Steven Matthews has welcomed the announcement that over 400 vacant social housing units in Wicklow were returned to use between 2020 and 2023. The figures provided by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage show that there was a three-fold increase in the number of units returned to use between 2020 and 2023 compared to the period between 2014 and 2019. Speaking following the publication of the figures, Deputy Matthews said:



“I am delighted that there has been a significant increase in the number of vacant social housing units returned to use in Wicklow since 2020. Tackling vacancy and dereliction is one of the most important measures that we can take to address the housing crisis. It is unacceptable that many people cannot find accommodation yet there are vacant houses and buildings in our towns and villages. Converting neglected and derelict buildings into homes must be a cornerstone of our housing policy.


“It is particularly important that vacant social housing units are returned to use to house those most in need. We have seen massive investment in the Voids Programme since the start of this Government in 2020, with annual funding for Wicklow increasing from €235,309 in 2019 to €2,065,472 in 2023. This is having a real impact on social housing supply with over 400 units returned to use since 2020.


“In Wicklow there were 133 social homes returned to use in the six years between 2014 and 2019, but as these figures show, that has more than doubled in the four years from 2020 to 2023, with 407 units being refurbished and re-let. The issue of vacant buildings is something that is under constant review. Walking through any town in Wicklow you will see how prevalent this issue can be. I will work with Wicklow County Council to ensure that as many social housing units are returned to use as possible”, Deputy Matthews concluded.

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