Construction and real estate groups asked for help finding empty lots for Ukrainian refugees


The construction industry has been asked by the government to help find vacant land to house Ukrainian refugees.

Groups representing the construction industry and property services met with Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien today to discuss industry support.

“A range of issues were discussed, including helping the industry identify suitable and viable vacant buildings for renovation,” said a spokeswoman for Mr O’Brien.

The construction industry can also be asked to help local governments find dormant building permits as well as vacant lots “for additional development”.

Options for prioritizing manpower and resources, as well as best practices for the “rapid construction and renovation” of existing buildings were discussed.

The emergency meeting was held to find solutions as the government scrambles to accommodate potentially more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees in the coming weeks and months.

The spokeswoman said the meeting also “discussed options to leverage the expertise, knowledge and skills of the private sector to mobilize a nationwide response to the housing crisis.”

“Secretary O’Brien made it clear to representatives that all suggestions would be taken into account and thanked them for their strong support in the broader national effort,” the spokeswoman said.

James Benson, director of housing at the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), said the meeting heard there would be “very clear” challenges in building over 30,000 more homes.

“That in itself presents a very clear challenge for Ireland as we have seen significant shortfalls in housing provision,” he said.

Mr Benson said if around 500 refugees were arriving a day, that would mean 3,500 a week and that “it wouldn’t be long” before 100,000 people were arriving, possibly as early as the next six months.

He said old office buildings, college dormitories or religious buildings could be “repurposed and renovated” to accommodate refugees.

The existing stock means that water and electricity connections as well as infrastructure such as roads or public transport are already in place. Construction and real estate groups asked for help finding empty lots for Ukrainian refugees

Fry Electronics Team

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