With regard to the current housing crisis in the country I have made an enquiry to the Department of the Enviornment to ask them to outline the numbers of vacant social and publicly owned houses around the country which have been neglected or have fallen into disrepair because of a lack of funding. A number of questions need to be asked why these houses have been allowed to be neglected and run down and there has to be a measure of responsibility on the part of local authority officials and the department for allowing this situation to develop. Within the next two weeks I will be asking the Minister to put into place a Derelict Property Fund immediately to resolve this very important issue. We have to address the high numbers of houses that are lying idle in all parts of the country as a matter of urgency. It is my view when we get the figures of vacant houses from Dublin and the bigger unban areas eyebrows will be raised. This is a matter that I will be following up with the Minister over the next few weeks as we need rapid resolution to this major problem.
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