High Street in Kilkenny
A local councillor says he has identified at least 30 vacant properties, not including ‘above-the-shop’ units, in Kilkenny City centre alone, which are potentially suitable for housing.
Cllr Malcolm Noonan is calling on the Government to tackle the vacancy and dereliction rates in County Kilkenny, as the Green Party launches its Living Cities Bill 2017, aimed at bringing life back to city and town centres, discouraging land hoarding, and tackling dereliction and vacancy.
Among the locations with multiple vacant properties Cllr Noonan lists are Wellington Square, Patrick Street, Ballybought Street and Friary Street.
“It is absolute madness that we have a situation in Ireland where we have 27 empty homes for every one person in emergency accommodation,” he said.
“We also have significant issues with dereliction, and land hoarding by developers. This needs to change, and change fast.
“We have 9% of our housing stock empty here in County Kilkenny, with 198,358 empty nationwide, according to the CSO. This number doesn’t include derelict buildings, and doesn’t measure the potential housing units that could be developed on vacant land in city and town centres.”
The Green Party councillor said the the aims of the Bill are simple, and have the potential to instigate meaningful change.