Councils to gain more powers to purchase vacant social housing for refugees and the homeless

Councils will be given more powers to purchase vacant houses to house Ukrainian refugees and homeless people.

Outgoing Minister Darragh O’Brien will present plans to Cabinet tomorrow to re-use empty council housing for refugees and those on council waiting lists.

Around 6,000 vacant social housing units have been brought back into service in the last two years and it is hoped the expanded ‘Voids Scheme’ will bring more back into service.

It is understood that municipalities will also be given “greater flexibility” in purchasing housing, particularly those designed to accommodate the homeless or those with disabilities or those covered by the Housing First program, including those with alcohol and alcohol abuse disorders substance abuse problems, can be used .

A government source wanted to stress that these houses will be used to house the homeless and the “broader market” and not just refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine.

A task force has been set up in several government departments to find shelter for tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Cabinet ministers will be told tomorrow that the taskforce will examine how vacant properties, both government and privately owned, can be converted into refugees. It is understood that this will include former monasteries and hospitals across the country.

The taskforce will also work to activate building permits that have been granted but have not yet started construction.

Mr. O’Brien may use emergency powers when planning and procurement requirements can be waived to expedite delivery in emergency situations. Councils to gain more powers to purchase vacant social housing for refugees and the homeless

Fry Electronics Team

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