Dublin City Councillors have secured an agreement from the Environment Minister Alan Kelly to make all vacant housing units in the city available to homeless families by the end of the year.
It follows a long-awaited meeting between Minister Kelly and the leaders of the party groupings on the council yesterday.
There are currently 950 vacant housing units in the city that are in need of refurbishment before they are habitable. The Minister has now agreed to demands from Dublin Councillors to immediately invest in bringing these units up to scratch by the end of the year.
The Fianna Fáil Leader on Dublin City Council Paul McAuliffe explained, “It is completely unacceptable that we have nearly a thousand vacant housing units sitting idle in the city while there are so many homeless families desperate for somewhere to go. Many of these units need very little work to make them suitable homes.
“I welcome the fact that the Minister has now finally agreed to provide the funding necessary to open up these housing units to people on waiting lists. While the number is relatively small in terms of the housing that is needed, this measure will at least provide a much-needed home to nearly a thousand families and individuals by the end of the year.
“It is essential that the Minister keeps his word on this. Unfortunately we have seen all too many promises from Minister Kelly over the past few months that have resulted in nothing, and the housing and homeless crisis has got immeasurably worse. We on Dublin City Council will be holding the Minister to his promise to provide whatever funding is necessary to free up all of 950 vacant housing units by the end of the year.”