Incentives must be provided to young people and first-time buyers to purchase derelict properties in town centres, and refurbish them as family homes.

That's according to Galway East Independent TD Sean Canney, who says we have a housing crisis, and yet there are derelict properties lying idle in towns and villages all across the region that could be repurposed and brought back into the housing stock.

He's calling on the Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien to extend the Help to Buy scheme to first-time buyers of derelict sites, and says such properties should also be exempt from planning and development charges.

Deputy Canney says it makes sense to refurbish old derelict properties, as this would also help to repopulate rural towns and villages

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