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Irish Government Recommended To Introduce Vacant Property Tax

Ireland is estimated to have up to 137,000 vacant homes

The Irish government has been urged to bring in a vacant homes tax to ease the housing crisis.

According to the Irish Times, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing is set to recommend a series of new measures including increasing the zoned land tax above the planned 3% level, a new vacant homes tax and an increase to the current €60,000 available under the current repair and leasing scheme which was aimed to bring vacant properties back into use.

The report said that as many as 137,000 homes are currently vacant in the Republic of Ireland, yet while a swathe of homes lay empty the country is struggling with an acute housing shortage which is seeing rents soar.

A recent report by the Irish government cast doubt over the possibility of a vacancy tax being introduced after it concluded that vacancy levels were low across all counties in the country. The analysis by the Revenue department looked at the impact of introducing a tax on the property market.

The Oireachtas committee is understood to have also recommended that the Department of Housing undertake an audit of all local authorities to get a clear picture of the real vacancy levels across Ireland.

As Bisnow reported earlier this year, the housing shortage has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which has seen thousands of refugees arrive in Ireland looking to escape the conflict.

Earlier this month the government was urged to make use of emergency powers to push through the construction of up to 80,000 homes that were stuck in the planning system despite receiving planning consent. 

In September last year the Irish government launched its Housing for All plan, which outlined development goals up to 2030. It estimated that Ireland would need an average of 33,000 new homes per year up to the end of the decade.

The new plan acknowledged that Ireland had between 70,000 and 80,000 'non activated' planning permissions across the country, around 40,000 were in Dublin.