Matt Cooper: Can vacant and derelict homes fill a huge gap in the housing market?

With vacancy rates as high as 30pc in some towns, dereliction has been called a social crime. But it’s not straightforward to bring these properties back to life

Promoting ‘meanwhile use’: Jude Sherry and Frank O’Connor at a derelict house at Old Market Place, Cork city. Photo by Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Matt Cooper

Today at 03:30

It is one of the great shames of modern Ireland that we have as many as 180,000 properties unoccupied at a time when we have a housing shortage, and when rents and the asking prices for new and second-hand properties are beyond the reach of many. Dereliction is often an eyesore too, an aesthetic blight on how cities, towns and countryside should look.

Vacancy and dereliction are easily observed but not so easily quantified. Local property tax returns, census results and GeoDirectory all offer different vacancy results. There’s little or no data on land use or available floor space either, or the monitoring of the condition of buildings.

The original article can be found here