Cost for vacation home-owners housing refugees being thought of, O’Brien says

The Government is contemplating giving funds to homeowners of vacation houses to accommodate Ukrainian refugees, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has mentioned.

Mr O’Brien mentioned emergency measures can be launched to fast-track the procurement course of to permit vacant houses be refurbished to accommodate Ukrainian refugees.

The Government was “not ruling anything out”, he instructed Newstalk Breakfast, nonetheless, camps have been “off the table”. Additional land “above and beyond” what had been sourced for Housing For All was being examined, he mentioned.

Later on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland the Minister mentioned a “trawl” by 31 native authorities had recognized 500 areas reminiscent of previous convents and hospitals which might presumably be transformed to supply lodging.

The vacant buildings have been being examined and three retired native authority chief executives have been categorising the properties, Mr O’Brien mentioned.

Some properties would take months to make liveable, he acknowledged.

Mr O’Brien mentioned measures to hurry up the refurbishment of vacant social housing have been additionally being launched which might home homeless individuals and release locations in emergency lodging for refugees.

Holiday houses have been additionally being thought of as have been funds to individuals offering houses. “Every lever available to us will be pulled to provide accommodation,” the Minister mentioned.

Other potentialities reminiscent of pupil lodging, build-to-rent properties and planning permissions that had not but been activated due to some circumstances have been being thought of, he mentioned.

Mr O’Brien mentioned he supposed to make use of emergency powers underneath Section 182 which might permit him to put aside a few of the circumstances that have been holding up planning permissions. “Every option to provide additional accommodation is being examined.”

James Benson of the Irish Home Builders Association instructed Morning Ireland that change of use of a single home right into a multi-home unit may very well be executed shortly, however it might take longer to transform previous banks and Garda stations into lodging.

Changes might occur inside weeks to months, he mentioned. However, Mr Benson mentioned an evaluation of what wanted to be executed was required and figuring out present inventory would assist scale back supply time.

It may very well be difficult to search out labour to hold out such works, he warned.

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