Fianna Fáil Local Election candidate for Portlaw-Kilmacthomas Cllr. Ray Murphy says Fine Gael has failed to bring vacant units back into use and ease the housing crisis in Waterford.
Cllr. Murphy cited the most recent Census figures, which reveal that there were almost 350 vacant residential units in Waterford in 2016.
“We are all too aware of the housing crisis, which affects evert town and community across the county. While building more houses, and making them more affordable needs to be the priority, we should also be looking at the vacant stock, which could be turned around and made available for use”, said Cllr. Murphy.
“It makes no sense to have so many properties lying vacant, while at the same time spending large sums of money on emergency accommodation. We need to step up refurbishment programmes to ensure that vacant homes are turned around in a timely manner and not left idle for months on end. This would ensure that the money spent on housing is reaping long term benefits rather than continuing to concentrate on short term emergency measures.
“The government has failed to react and explore all of the options open to it to help ease the housing crisis. My party has published numerous pieces of legislation to tackle the housing crisis head on, including a Bill that allows for individuals to refurbish local authority homes to speed up turnaround times.
“Successive Fine Gael Housing Ministers have failed to address the housing emergency. My party has produced legislation and policies which could make a real difference and I will be pushing for these measures to be pursued at council level”, concluded Cllr. Murphy.