Councillor calls for CPOs to acquire vacant homes for social housing

A Kerry County Councillor has called for the use of CPOs to acquire vacant homes for social housing.

Councillor Bobby O’Connell brought a motion to yesterday’s meeting of the Killarney Municipal District, asking the council to investigate the use of compulsory purchase orders in a bid to tackle the housing crisis.

Fine Gael Councillor O’Connell says the Repair and Lease Scheme is too restrictive and it’s curtailing the council’s ability to satisfy the demand for social housing in the county.

He believes derelict homes are ideal targets for a CPO.

Kerry County Council says it’s aware of a pilot scheme in Louth, which delivered a number of housing units through the process.

The council is assessing a small number of properties in the county, with a view to acquiring under CPO procedures.

However, it says landowners have fundamental rights which must be respected, and properties may be vacant for a multitude of reasons.

Independent Councillor Brendan Cronin expressed his concern, saying the use of CPO is controversial at present and circumstances around each derelict property must be thoroughly investigated prior to any CPO being enacted.

He added the council “must be very, very careful” going down the CPO route.