252 vacant social units in Limerick


19-11-14 Derelict Flats near Colbert Station THERE are currently 252 vacant social housing units in Limerick  – the fourth highest figure in the country behind Cork City, Dublin City and Cork County.

Nationally, there are 3,000 social housing units lying empty.

A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council explained that of the 252 units, just 29 units “could be considered lettable”.

According to the local authority, these 29 properties are “short-term casual vacancies currently being offered or repaired”.

The council provided a breakdown of the remaining vacant units and revealed that there are 111 voids awaiting long-term refurbishments including four apartment complexes.

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“Cluid Housing Association have now begun work bringing 20 apartments at Hyde Road back to use,” added the spokesperson.

There is one house being renovated for “special adaptations”, as well as one vacant site, and 110 units in Regeneration areas “being refurbished or demolished”.

The local authority’s social housing portfolio amounts to a total of 5,121 units.

The latest figures in relation to Limerick City and County Council’s housing waiting list show that there are now more than 4,600 people seeking social housing.

Jackie Bonfield, general manager, Mid West Simon said the homeless charity is in regular contact with the council in relation to potential voids coming on stream.

“We are aware that a third of all council lets are being allocated to homeless people and we look forward to the planned 36 units, 12 of which are for the homeless, due to be back in stock by year’s end. While the figure of 252 is very concerning we understand that this figure includes Regeneration units to be knocked.”

Ms Bonfield continued: “We urge both council and central government to work in a more cohesive manner to ensure that any potential properties come on stream in a timely manner, including voids and NAMA properties. We appeal to the government to consider all solutions to the current housing crisis so as a society we can begin to move away from emergency-led responses and move towards providing access to affordable, permanent housing with support – a housing-led approach.”