Carolyn Moore

Green Party Councillor for Kimmage Rathmines

Vacancy & dereliction: My Dublin Inquirer Voter Guide Response

Q: What would you do to help tackle vacancy and dereliction?

There are few things that frustrate Dubliners more than the sight of vacant or derelict buildings that we know could be put to good use as homes, artists studios, retail spaces, work hubs or other community spaces. I support a robust response to tackling vacancy and dereliction, and one that includes a more assertive use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs). Dublin City Council should be actively looking to add eligible buildings to the derelict sites register, rapidly moving forward with acquisition and progressing to refurbish or repurpose buildings to get them back into use. Instead of being eyesores and magnets for dumping or other anti-social behaviour, these buildings and sites have huge potential to contribute positively to our communities, and we should be unlocking that potential. 

Again, my experience chairing the Local Community Development Committee and developing the city’s next Local Economic and Community Plan has shown me how important it is that we take a holistic approach to community development, and tackling vacancy and dereliction is key to that. It doesn’t just present an opportunity to provide housing, it can also bring on stream more space for community services, social enterprises, and amenities like parklets and community gardens. Regenerating underused spaces, particularly in communities with a high rate of vacancy and dereliction, can be a real driver for community cohesion and create a sense of belonging and connection within our neighbourhoods, particularly with heritage buildings that have been part of the fabric of a community for generations. 

For this reason, I support measures like the Vacant Homes Tax and the Residential Zoned Land Tax to stimulate the supply of much-needed accommodation in our city, and also I think grants like Croí Conaithe that allow people to regenerate vacant buildings at an individual level are proving very successful. We do need to see a quicker release of grants though, to speed up the process and make it more attractive to people. There’s also a great heritage revival fund called ‘Thrive’ that provides up to €7m to renovate disused heritage buildings and councillors have a role to play in ensuring these funds are tapped into for the benefit of Dubliners, addressing a huge issue and turning it into a community gain.