456. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of voids that have been refurbished in Cork city and county in the past year since the end of quarter one 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18861/18 asked on 01 May 2018)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Voids Programme, introduced in 2014 by my Department, provides additional support to local authorities in preparing vacant units for re-letting. The purpose of the Voids Programme is to ensure that vacant units are actively targeted, with a view to minimising the turnaround and re-let time of these units and return them to use in an energy efficient condition.

During 2017, my Department provided funding to Cork City Council to enable them to bring 81 vacant properties back to productive use and funding was provided to Cork County Council to enable them to bring 48 such vacant properties back to productive use. Without substantial refurbishment under construction contracts, these social homes would have been left vacant and in turn would not be part of the active social housing stock.