The plan was unveiled by Development and Technology Minister Waldemar Buda on Wednesday, state news agency PAP reported.
Buda told a news conference in Warsaw: “By making it easier to turn commercial buildings into residential space, we expect that several thousand flats will be created in a short time.”
He added that “the rise of telework and e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic” meant that some offices and shops, especially large supermarkets, were no longer needed.
“It’s better to redevelop such empty buildings than to demolish them,” he told reporters.
“We would like these commercial premises to be converted to residential use where possible,” Buda said, adding that this would allow the government "to better meet the housing needs of the Polish people and refugees from the Ukraine war."
Under the bill, the decision to convert a commercial building into housing units would be taken by the local government.
In addition, “local authorities would be allowed to buy 5 percent of the new flats at a reduced price for council housing,” Buda said.
The paperwork will be kept to a minimum, reporters were told.
At the same time, “the flats will be built in line with standards,” Deputy Development and Technology Minister Piotr Uściński said.
Buda told the media that “within weeks, the proposal will be discussed by the government and sent to parliament, so we intend to proceed very quickly.”
Source: IAR, PAP, gov.pl