Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader and Dublin South Central General Election candidate, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that derelict sites in the South Inner City could be more quickly brought back on to the open market if Dublin City Council officials engage with the owners of vacant properties in a meaningful way.

The Crumlin based Senator was commenting having obtained information this week that indicates three derelict sites in the area are in the process of being added to Dublin City Council’s Derelict Sites Register.

“The recent introduction of a Vacant Site Tax in the city has presented a real opportunity to strongly encourage the owners of vacant property in the South Inner City to develop it or bring it back onto the market to improve the housing supply locally,” she said.

“The South Inner City has very quickly become a popular district in Dublin for prospective homeowners, first time buyers and for young rental tenants hoping to settle in our vibrant area. There is no doubt that the existing level of supply just does not exist in order to meet the rising demand.

“There are at least three other significant sites that I am aware of in Dublin 8 and that have fallen vacant and that locals are upset to see become derelict overtime. The Council have also informed me that these other three sites are yet to be added to the register. It’s such a shame that when families and young couples are under massive stress to find a home, they have to pass empty property on a daily basis.

“Dublin City Council officials do need to be properly resourced to directly liaise with the owners of these properties who may be encountering difficulties with the planning process or in accessing capital to carry out refurbishment. The levy is an important measure to prompt property owners to sell up or refurbish their vacant property but we have to rectify any issues that are deterring them from acting too.

“Every effort needs to be made by the DCC Derelict Sites Unit to engage with the owners that are too intent on leaving their property completely unutilised and derelict.

“It’s my belief that these all six sites would be useful in supplying sustainable, long-term and mixed housing options to those that are crying out for suitable accommodation in our community,” concluded Senator Ardagh.