Council Taking More Than 15 Months To Bring Vacant Properties Back To Use

Clare County Council is taking more than 15 months to bring vacant social housing units back into use.

A new report suggests 117 properties in this county were vacant at the end of 2019.

The Local Government Audit service says Clare County Council owned more than 2,600 units just before the pandemic – with nearly 4.5 percent of these vacant at the end of 2019.


Of the 117 empty properties belonging to the local authority at that time, 67 were in need of refurbishment before being re-let, with a further seven needing a ‘major refurbishment’.

2 had major structural issues, while a further 2 were considered derelict.

Of the 31 local authorities assessed in the report, just 8 take longer on average to bring empty properties back into use than in this county, where on average it takes 65 weeks.

That’s despite the Council being notified in advance of a vacancy in more than 80 percent of those properties.

Clare is also one of only nine local authorities to confirm it does not pre-allocate houses prior to them being refurbished.

The local authority here drew down 1.7 million euro in funding to refurbish derelict properties in 2019 – the highest of any in the country – while nearly €500,000 was also drawn down here for void or vacant properties that year.

Clare County Council statement:

Vacancy period for reletting of social housing as reported is an average of 65 weeks. This was because the figure included 24 social housing units (21% of vacant stock) which were long term vacant and were pending demolition, major refurbishment due to structural defects or were properties for which there was no demand for example properties in Traveller specific sites or rural properties. This report relates to 2019 figures and the vacancy period has reduced significantly during 2021 and we are currently reporting a 30 week vacancy period.