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22 Jan 2022

New vacant homes officer helps identify nearly 300 derelict properties in Limerick

New vacant homes officer helps identify nearly 300 derelict properties in Limerick

Limerick City and County Council has begun the process to CPO this derelict property at Saint Mary's Terrace, Cappamore

ALMOST 300 derelict properties in Limerick have been identified since the appointment of a vacant homes officer for the county, it has been revealed.

There are 297 properties currently listed on the Derelict Sites Register in Limerick, which are now in the process of being restored or renovated for public or community housing.

“This marks a tenfold increase on three years ago,” Limerick City and County Council Director of Service Gordon Daly told a meeting of the Home and Social Development Strategic Policy Committee.

LCCC created the position in 2018, serving as a line manager for area Inspectors, by leading call outs to derelict or vacant sites, as well as vacant homes.

Before this newly created role, the Council had little to no staff dealing with this issue, as well as having the work split between two separate registers, with very few sites on either, he added.

David O’Grady, the local authority's current Vacant Homes Officer is responsible for engaging on-the ground with community groups in towns and villages in the battle against dereliction.

He is also tasked with working with derelict sites officers and community representatives in a bid to identify the owners of derelict properties throughout County Limerick.

Once these individuals are identified, the vacant homes officer provides advice and guidance on schemes and other measures available to them to assist them in bringing their derelict properties back into use.

Despite taking a leading role, in the event of a property being compulsory acquired, by LCCC, Mr Daly stressed that the onus is always on the vacant homes officer to engage with the owner.

“We take a strong approach to dealing with dereliction, but we are communicating to the public that while compulsory acquisition is available to us, it is a last resort. We would much prefer for people to take the measures and steps themselves,” the Director of Service concluded.

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