Sinn Féin launch legislation to tackle housing crisis by reforming derelict sites rules

Sinn Féin TD for Tipperary Martin Browne has urged the government to back the legislation to
ensure it delivers much-needed change for people priced out of affordable housing.
The legislation was launched on Wednesday at Leinster House by party TD Thomas Gould.
Teachta Browne said:
“Right across this state, there are thousands of potential homes falling further and further into
disrepair. Many of these are in Tipperary and are being left idle and rotting in the middle of a
housing crisis by land hoarders.
“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. Sinn Féin’s legislation 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.
“What we want to see is a situation whereby 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.
“We are talking about over €12million in untapped potential revenue. When local authorities are
struggling year-on-year to balance budgets, why should those hoarding potential homes walk away
“Take Co Tipperary. Figures reveal that in 2020, 39 sites were on the Derelict Sites Register. The
amount levied was €45,100. But not one cent was collected by Tipperary County Council. At the
end of 2020 the total of uncollected levies was €59,700.
“Every derelict property in this state is an insult to those trapped in the Housing Crisis. Here in
Tipperary, far too many people who are losing hope of ever having their own home are being forced
to walk past empty rotting houses daily.
“It is so frustrating that in the middle of a housing crisis we are surrounded by homes that are falling
apart – these homes should be repaired and made available for families who will cherish them.
These walls should be full of laughter and memories not mould and mildew.

“Sinn Féin’s legislation would make it harder for land hoarders to justify allowing these homes to rot.
“Land inflation means that people are actually making a profit off dereliction. We need to increase
the financial penalties and apply them across the board so that there is no financial incentive to
“The Minister has admitted that this is a problem but essentially shrugged his shoulders. 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.”