Carthy commends Sinn Féin legislation to tackle derelict sites rules as Regional Assembly identifies over 1,500 vacant residences in Co. Monaghan
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has urged government to support his party’s legislation which aims to tackle the housing crisis by addressing the failure to collect levies applied under the Derelict Sites Levy.
Deputy Carthy was speaking this week after the Northern & Western Regional Assembly published a report that shows 1,562 residential properties in County Monaghan are vacant or derelict while there are 417 vacant commercial properties in the county.
“Right across this state, there are thousands of potential homes falling further and further into disrepair. Many of these are being left idle and rotting in the middle of a housing crisis. In County Monaghan alone, according to the Northern an Western Assembly there are over 1,500 such properties.
“The Derelict Sites Levy was introduced as one of a number of tools available to local authorities to tackle dereliction.
“This has failed and it is time for the Minister, the government and local authorities to be held to account for this failure. The Sinn Féin legislation, drafted by my colleague Cork TD Thomas Gould, would impose transparency and accountability across local and national government where there are failures to collect the Derelict Sites Levy.
“It would create a requirement for a local authority who has collected less than 75% of the Derelict Sites Levy to publish a report outlining the reason why it was not collected, the reasons for the failure to collect the amount and the level of engagement they have undertaken with the property owners. This would include a requirement to outline any concerns the local authority has in relation to resourcing, staffing or other issues preventing them from collecting levies.
“The Minister would then be required to publish a reply, addressing the issues raised.
“it is imperative that local authorities are applying levies on all eligible properties and collecting these levies. Not only will this act as a deterrent and ultimately reduce levels of dereliction but in the meantime, the additional funding will support local authorities to build houses and resource communities.
“The levies currently represent over €12million in untapped potential revenue. Considering that local authorities are struggling year-on-year to balance budgets this could be an important resource invested into our housing needs.
“It is so frustrating, that in the middle of a Housing Crisis, that there are derelict homes left idle in almost every town and village – these homes should be repaired and made available for families who need them.
“The Minister and government have acknowledged that this is a problem but have done nothing about it. The legislation to tackle dereliction exists, it’s time we started to enforce it.
“Sinn Féin in government would tackle the housing crisis and stand up for ordinary workers and families by delivering affordable homes. We have the policies and solutions to deliver the change that people need.”