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New move to tackle Ireland’s housing crisis: Office buildings to be converted into housing complexes

Dublin: In an effort to address Ireland’s housing crisis, plans to convert hundreds of vacant office buildings across the country into homes have begun.

An inter-departmental group will be formed under the direction of Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney to launch a survey and develop follow-up measures to implement the idea of repurposing vacant commercial sites for residential use. The Enterprise Department moved into the new measures at the request of Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.

Earlier this year, the Central Bank issued a warning about a resurgence of vacant office space amid a glut of new buildings. In Dublin alone, 10.9 percent of office buildings are vacant.

The government plans to redevelop vacant office blocks for housing to ease the housing crisis.

Assistant Professor Orla Hegarty of UCD’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Environmental Policy said such measures are practical and should be taken seriously.

110 apartments in Sandyford

Experts believe that converting hundreds of shopping centres across the country into homes could solve the housing crisis, including plans to renovate the 14-storey Sentinel Tower in Sandyford, which has sat unfinished for years in south Dublin.

A planning application has been submitted to Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council to redevelop a 14-storey building in Sandyford that has remained unfinished for 15 years.

The Sentinel Tower, one of the tallest office buildings in south Dublin, has been granted permission to be converted into an apartment block.

When the project is completed, the 14-storey tower will have 110 apartments. More than half will be two-bedroom apartments, with 22 single-bedroom and 28 three-bedroom apartments.

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