The Government has been accused of an “inexcusable” lack of leadership after it emerged that there are 2,600 vacant units across the country in council ownership, despite a mounting homelessness crisis.
Figures uncovered by Fianna Fáil spokesperson on environment and local government, Barry Cowen, found Cork City had the largest number of vacant council properties, at 424.
The information, gathered under Freedom of Information, also shows the vast majority of local authorities have cut back this year on the amount of money spent to refurbish properties, compared to 2014.
Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry said: “It it is true, it is a disgrace and it would show that this issue is not a priority for this Government, despite what they say.”
The housing crisis is most acute in Dublin and in other larger urban areas and Mr Cowen said: “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.