20% increase in funding for Vacant Home Officer to tackle empty houses across Tipperary

Since 2018, the Department of Housing has provided funding to each local authority of €50,000 per
annum to support the work of a Vacant Homes Office including the funding of posts of VHOs. Given the
enhanced focus on tackling vacancy in the housing stock, the funding for VHOs will increase by 20% to
Senator Garret Ahearn said, “While all local authorities already have VHOs in place, they are mostly
part-time roles and this 20% increase in funding will ensure the role is transitioned to a full-time position
so that we can see real results in repurposing idle and empty houses across Tipperary.
“Seeing buildings and homes lying vacant in our communities across Tipperary goes against the grain
when we know there are so many young people, families and individuals in need of affordable and
quality housing. Supply is a massive challenge, which is why I believe that returning Tipperary’s vacant
properties to the market is so important.
“Housing For All has given an enhanced commitment to recognising the opportunity within vacant
homes by increasing funding, and the Government recently announced the decision to allow vacant
and derelict properties to be turned into homes without the requirement for planning permission.
“This announcement of the increase in funding and expansion of the role of the VHO from Minister
Peter Burke is proof of the Government’s commitment to repurposing vacant homes and idle buildings.
“Tapping into our existing vacant home potential offers a huge opportunity to bolster the housing stock
across Tipperary and ultimately to turn empty houses into new homes,” concluded Senator Garret
Speaking on the announcement, Minister Peter Burke said, “Our Local Authorities are best placed to
identify vacant and derelict properties within their jurisdiction, and we have asked for these Local
Authority-based positions to be in place by the end of Q2 of this year. The Vacant Homes Officers will
be tasked with completing a new programme for Compulsory Purchase (CPO) of vacant housing for
resale on the open market for residential purposes.
“The Government are also planning to bring in a new Vacant Property Tax, and we are currently
awaiting data from Revenue which will highlight the number and location of vacant homes, as well as
the reasons for this vacancy as of November 1 st , 2021. This information will be assessed with other
sources to inform the optimum design of a Vacant Property Tax”.