Need for comprehensive register of vacant properties in Limerick 

Limerick Green Party councillor Sasa Novak.

A COMPREHENSIVE registry of vacant and derelict housing must be developed if the problem of homelessness in Limerick is to be tackled effectively.

That’s according to Green Party councillors, who say such a register is vital to facilitate measures being introduced to discourage property owners from allowing sites to fall into ruin.

Limerick Greens have welcomed the launch of the report on Urban Regeneration from the Oireachtas Committee on Housing which highlights key issues around derelict and vacant buildings.

One of the main recommendations in the report is that the Department of Housing should develop dedicated units to concentrate on vacancy and dereliction with proper data collection.

Councillor Seán Hartigan said, “This report recognises the need to regenerate and restore our town centres by tackling vacancy and dereliction. The report includes recommendations on penalties for vacancies and supports to assist building owners to refurbish and re-use their properties, which will be critical to address the housing crisis in Limerick.

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Councillor Saša Novak added: “It is also critical to acknowledge that in Limerick, we must make great changes in public transport, job opportunities, housing, and climate to revitalise our public realm, and this report touches on the wider implications of dereliction and vacancy in our towns and villages. The Town Centres First approach is a long-standing area of Green Party policy.”

She said that it is estimated that there are up to 132,000 vacant properties in Ireland, but there is no full picture of Ireland’s vacant and derelict sites.

“A centralised, publicly accessible Derelict Sites Register would allow Revenue to apply taxation measures to these vacant and derelict sites, which would discourage allowing sites to fall into such state.”