“Meath needs stronger action and more resources to tackle the housing crisis “, Labour councillor Cllr Elaine McGinty has told Meath Live. 

She said “It’s very welcome that the Department of Housing is now encouraging local authorities to scale up their use of compulsory purchase orders to tackle the scandal of derelict houses.

“But we also need an effective vacant property tax to bring more of these properties back into use.

“Earlier this month it was reported that one in twenty vacant homes lie totally empty throughout the country. Labour have consistently called on government to empower our local authorities and give them the resources to tackle this head on and bring vacant homes back into the market of which there are many in Louth and East Meath.”

“The scheme announced by the Department of Housing needs to be backed up with a budget for mapping and registering vacant properties so we can identify the scale of empty housing stock available.”

“Once this measure is complete, government needs to move and introduce a vacant property tax to bring some of these empty homes into supply. A strong vacant homes tax would actually encourage former homes, including permanently empty apartments and derelict houses, back into use.”

“If the Minister is actually committed to improving the CPO powers locally, we will need to see an increase in funding for Meath County Council to repurpose these homes and tackle dereliction. Dedicated teams in local authorities must be tasked with mapping and activating vacant property. The Minister needs to get to work now on legislation that would compel owners of empty homes to register this.

“At the most fundamental level, housing in Meath must be delivered by the Council whether by direct build or if necessary by using a stick approach to motivate those with vacant homes in our county to bring them back onto the market as soon as possible.”