A Leitrim Councilor says the Government plans to bring vacant social housing back into use for those fleeing the war in Ukraine could also be used to address the issue of depopulation in parts of rural Ireland/
The Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien is briefing his cabinet colleagues today on a series of measures to accommodate refugees, including the conversion of vacant buildings, activating planning permissions and extending the voids programme which refurbishes vacant social housing units.
Concerns have been expressed by some groups that this could lead to a backlash from anti refugee groups that feel such measures should have been introduced to address the housing crisis here.
Glenfarne based Councillor Sean McDermott has been a long-time advocate when it comes to the issue of planning permission in Leitrim and has also called for derelict properties to be restored so that more people can return to rural areas.
He says a twin track approach could be used to provide accommodation for refuges and those looking to relocate to rural areas: