Ireland’s main opposition party has released a shocking report showing that there are currently over 2,700 houses under local authority laying empty across Ireland, with over 370 in Dublin. Added to the recent report in May 2016 of 230,000 privately owned but vacant houses, charities are now calling for compulsory purchase orders to help house the country’s 6,000 homeless.

Barry Cowen, Fianna Fáil party spokesman for Housing, Planning and Government said “These figures make it apparent just how completely inadequate the refurbishment funding allocated to local authorities has been. It’s unacceptable that there are still such a high number of vacant housing units owned by local authorities which are not in use. This is at a time when social housing waiting lists are at historic highs and emergency homeless shelters are running out of space to accommodate the escalating crisis. The figures show that refurbishment of vacant social homes by Local Authorities needs to be ramped up.”

Minister Simon Coveney is due to announce a housing action plan before the 1st August to deal with this issue.