Thirty-five social houses developed on derelict or vacant Mayo sites

THIRTY-FIVE social houses have been provided in the past three years where vacant or derelict properties were used by Mayo County Council.

With the appointment of a vacant homes officer earlier this year, the local authority hope to harness this option for housing more in the future, with a target of over 150 units.

Councillor Jarlath Munnelly had requested information on how many vacant/derelict properties in Mayo had been re-purposed as social housing by Mayo County Council since 2018.

He also asked if the council has utilised powers of CPO to acquire vacant/derelict properties with the aim of repurposing them as social housing and, if so, how many houses has this yielded.

In a written reply to his notice of motion, he was told: The housing section of Mayo County Council are targeting acquisition of vacant/derelict sites in an effort to decrease dereliction and bring people back living in the centre of towns and villages while also providing social housing to the greatest extent possible. The council also supports the private sector through turnkey dereliction renovations and repair and lease to bring units back into use.

The number of social housing units provided in each of the years arising from vacant and derelict properties was:

2019 - 14

2020 - 13

2021 - 8

The planned outturn of social housing units in this and coming years is:

2022 - 34

2023 - 36

2024 - 60

2025 - 27

A full-time vacant homes officer, appointed last March, is working to identify ownership of these properties and following up with owners.

The work being done with vacant homes complements the Buy and Renew Scheme that the council offers. This initiative is also designed to assist local authorities to harness the accommodation potential that exists in certain vacant properties for social housing use.

Mayo County Council has a target of 78 units under this scheme.

During the lifetime of Housing for All there are a number of projects being worked on which would facilitate the delivery of in excess of 100 units in derelict buildings.

In relation to CPOS, the report stated that nine units have been delivered, with other properties in the process of being compulsorily purchased.

Also on housing, Councillor Munnelly tabled a motion proposing that Mayo County Council make provision in budget 2023 to provide funding to advance objectives contained within the draft county development plan to provide serviced sites for owner occupied housing in council owned/acquired land in towns across the county.