Twitter co-founder helps Dublin homeless trust launch app for vacant homes

7 Mar 2018

Terraced houses in Dublin city. Image: Eoghan McNally/Shutterstock

New online mapping tool to identify empty homes for the homeless to be launched by Twitter co-founder in Dublin.

The Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has partnered with Dublin-based social enterprise Space Engagers to use mapping tech to locate Dublin’s empty buildings.

The initiative will be given an added boost with the help of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who will launch the new online mapping tool at Twitter’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin today (7 March).

‘The more empty buildings we can identify and reuse, the more homes we can provide to people impacted by homelessness in Dublin’

Homelessness crisis

The project, named Reusing Dublin, hopes to tap into local knowledge on empty buildings across Dublin in an effort to alleviate the homelessness crisis.

It is hoped that buildings identified by members of the public can be reused to provide social housing solutions.

“We believe locals know their communities better than anyone else and that this local knowledge can play a key role in turning empty buildings back into homes,” explained Space Engagers co-founder Philip Crowe.

Reusing Dublin is available on the Space Engagers app to download for free from the iOS App Store or Google Play.

There is also the Reusing Dublin website where people can log information and see properties that have been added.

“At Peter McVerry Trust, we see empty buildings as spaces with the potential to transform the lives of people impacted by homelessness in Dublin,” said Francis Doherty, head of communications at the organisation.

“We’ve been working on empty and derelict buildings for a few years now, and we know from this experience that we can create high-quality homes much faster and cheaper than traditional new-build construction.

“The Reusing Dublin project is something that we hope will encourage members of the public to share their knowledge of their community and city by logging empty buildings.

“The more empty buildings we can identify and reuse, the more homes we can provide to people impacted by homelessness in Dublin.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years