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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020

How many empty council houses are there in your county?

There are 2,600 countrywide.


THERE ARE 2,600 council houses lying empty across Ireland, a situation that has been called “shocking”.

The numbers were obtained by Fianna Fáil Environment spokesperson Barry Cowen through a series of Freedom of Information requests to each local authority. The information shows that there are over 2,600 vacant units across the country in council ownership, despite the growing housing emergency.

The majority of local authorities suffered reductions in refurbishment funding in 2015, with local authority sources saying that, in many cases, the money simply isn’t there to make empty houses habitable.

The largest amount of houses lying empty is in Cork, with the city and county having 424 and 268, respectively. The city council’s refurbishment budget was €785,000 bigger this year, while the county’s is down €132,000.

In Dublin, the city council has 258 houses idle on a budget that is almost identical to last year, Dun Laoighaire-Rathdown has 28, Fingal 37 and South Dublin 36.

Galway city and county have 59 and 165 each, while Roscommon, Kerry, Donegal, Mayo, Sligo and Tipperary all have over 100 each.



Cowen called the numbers “shocking”.

It is sickening to think that there are a massive number of vacant housing units owned by local authorities sitting idle. This is at a time when social housing waiting lists are at historic highs and emergency homeless shelters are running out of space to accommodate the escalating crisis.

“It is utterly senseless to have so many properties lying vacant while spending such enormous funds fire-fighting the crisis through the provision of emergency homeless accommodation.”

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