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One a day Live

Plans to turn empty shops into houses in attempt to tackle housing crisis

Plans to turn empty shops into houses without the need for planning permission will be revealed today.

The proposals by the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy would also allow vacant commercial units and rooms above shops to be redeveloped.

Meanwhile the Green Party will introduce its own bill into the Dáil today to try to end the homeless crisis.

Leader Eamon Ryan explains: "We would increase the charge on derelict sites to try and push landowners to get them built on and fixed and brought back to life."

The Bill seeks to increase the levy on derelict sites from 3% to 7% and creates a transparent process by which derelict sites are added to the Vacant Sites Register.

"The country is full of empty buildings and vacant sites; we have almost 200,000 vacant dwellings dotted around the country, while we see homelessness rates climb this Christmas," said Mr Ryan ahead of the Bill’s introduction.

"This legislation is a way to urgently increase the availability of property that can be utilised to address this shortage.

"The Bill will also force local authorities to be transparent about their application of the levy. The process by which sites are entered onto the Vacant Sites Register will now be made publicly available online on the local authority’s website."