New bill aims to refurbish thousands of vacant residential units

Fianna Fáil believe a new bill being put forward by the party in the Dáil will help refurbish thousands of vacant units in older and commercial buildings in cities and town centres.

The ‘Vacant Housing Refurbishment Bill 2017’ establishes a special planning and building control approval process in each planning authority.

This will enable the expedited refurbishment of upper floors of older and commercial structures for housing.

The bill is set to be debated in the Dáil tomorrow afternoon.

"It’s clear a new approach is needed to expand the supply of social, affordable and private housing. We need to refurbish vacant spaces in residential, commercial and older buildings to achieve this," said Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing Barry Cowen TD.

"Census 2016 revealed that almost 260,000 homes are vacant across the country. There are thousands of square feet of liveable space in ‘above the shop’ units which, as anyone who walks around a city or town in Ireland can clearly see, exist in very large numbers.

"Dublin City Council recently estimated that there are 4,000 vacant spaces above commercial units in the city with potential for use as residential dwellings. With the right policy instrument in place this could translate into over 20,000 additional residential units in a short space of time.

"Our bill seeks to establish an expedited process for building control and planning administration in each local authority to help bring vacant properties back into use as homes."


Join the conversation - comment here

House Rules for comments - FAQ - Important message for commenters


Most Read in Ireland