Vacant houses and demand for housing

 

Sir, – Regarding the recent attention given to the extent of the stock of vacant houses in the country and the potential of this stock to meet housing demand, it has now been made clear that there are adequate legal powers available to local authorities to get vacant and derelict houses, by means of acquisition or otherwise, back into use. Local authorities are currently investigating vacant sites and properties but it has been obvious for some time to observant passers-by in various parts of the country that many houses have effectively been abandoned and are steadily deteriorating. Local authorities appear to have been reluctant to address this problem, and I attribute this to uncertainty about the length and complexity of the necessary legal procedures, the costs likely to be incurred in renovating properties and the likely outcome of the arbitration process. In short, there could have been an expectation that the expenses incurred would not be fully recovered from the proceeds of sales. The current initiatives are nevertheless timely and the prospect of such properties being brought back into beneficial use must be welcomed. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL WALSH,

Clontarf, Dublin 3.