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About one lakh homes and units are vacant in Ireland

DUBLIN: It is estimated that there are about one lakh homes and units vacant throughout Ireland, including closed shops and establishments. Can’t think of using these to alleviate the crisis in the housing market?

Dublin City Council is preparing such a new development plan for the city. This innovative project would help to turn more than 4,000 empty spaces above the businesses into housing between 2022 and 2028. Experts say the housing department should consider whether this pilot model could be rolled out across the country.

With the increase in the prevalence of work from home, the demand for housing in rural towns and villages is rising. Only a limited supply of new homes is coming on stream to meet this demand. It is estimated that around one lakh residences remain above shops and retail outlets across the country.

In this context, Pat Davitt, Chief Executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV), urges the government to check the potential of making efficient use of one million vacant homes.

“If spaces above shops were utilised and there was enough money given by the Government so people could live on the main streets by doing up these units, or give planning permission to change some of the shops back to residential use, it would help solve a lot of the issues that are there at the moment,” Mr Davitt said. Working from home would significantly affect the housing problem in Ireland. The demand for housing in areas far from major cities is likely to increase, he said.

The central bank estimates that 34,000 new homes are needed each year to meet the country’s housing needs. But last year, not even 20,000 houses were completed.

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