Kildare has one of the highest rates of vacant properties in Ireland, new figures reveal.
The vacanthomes.ie website has been set up by Mayo County Council on behalf of the local government sector to provide a central portal for individuals to anonymously log possible vacant properties and alert local authorities who can then follow up with the owners to see whether the house can be re-used quickly.
A total of 2,881 properties have been recorded on the website and a breakdown recorded in each local authority area, shows that Kildare has 141 — one of the highest in the country.
Only Dublin City Council (212), Cork County Council (407), Mayo Co Council (142) and Cavan Co Council (278) have more vacant properties, according to the website.
Minister for Housing Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien told the Dáil that a number of measures are addressing the issue of vacant properties nationwide.
The National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy published in July 2018 provides a targeted, effective and coordinated approach to identifying and tackling vacancy across Ireland.
The Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS) is targeted at owners of vacant properties who cannot afford or access the funding needed to bring their properties up to the required standard for rental properties.
The Buy and Renew initiative allows local authorities to purchase private vacant properties for use as social housing.
The number of units purchased by local authorities under the Buy and Renew scheme from July 2018 to end of 2020 was 419 units.
The Housing Acquisitions Fund set up in January 2017 is tasked with enabling the Housing Agency to acquire vacant units from banks and investment companies for social housing use.