An Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway says he would like to see a grant in the upcoming budget, to incentivise people and families to move outside of Dublin.
Denis Naughten told Pat Kenny any such initiative would have a two-fold advantage of easing pressure on the Dublin housing market, while brining new life to smaller villages.
He suggested that such moves, coupled with working from home, also takes cars and congestion out of the capital.
"Not only is there a huge cash saving, but it has a huge impact in terms of our cities - particularly Dublin - where you're taking two cars off the road coming into Dublin, you're releasing a house on to the housing market in Dublin".
"One of the things that I've been putting forward to the Government in terms of the budget is at the moment, the Government are spending just over €30,000 providing a service site in the city of Dublin.
"If we were to give a grant of €15,000 for some of these families to go and look maybe at some of our smaller towns and villages with a large vacancy rate - give them a grant of €15,000 - the State saves just short of €16,000, it releases a house in Dublin and it brings life back into a rural community".
On rural living, he said: "The big benefit is that you've everything on your doorstep, you're not travelling distances.
"Whether it's in terms of education, childcare, and having that community network there.
"I suppose the great thing about rural communities at the moment is we have huge capacity in terms of education, childcare facilities, local sporting organisations, sports facilities and so forth.
"The biggest problem that we have is trying to get young people and young families into these communities.
"We have villages where there's hasn't been a football kicked down the middle of the street for a generation.
"There's a huge opportunity to bring life back into those communities, improve the quality of life of people dramatically that they've actually time in the evenings to go for a walk - or to get involved in the local GAA club - which they don't have at the moment with the problems and issues they have of commuting within the Dublin catchment area."
Asked about people working from home, and a potential lack of broadband in rural areas, Deputy Naughten said things are changing.
"You do need decent broadband, but remember: over my term as minister things have changed dramatically.
"Pretty much every village in Ireland now has access to fibre broadband through the Eir network build out.
"You have 5G coverage through Imagine in a lot of parts of rural Ireland; and as we speak, under the National Broadband Plan, these 300 broadband connection points are being developed in rural communities that don't have decent broadband.
"The objective is to have community centres and community buildings with decent broadband speeds so that people can - maybe not work from their home - but at least work from somewhere within their own community".
'Bang for your buck'
June Doran from June Doran Properties in Carlow town said she has seen an increase in queries.
"After lockdown restrictions were lifted, I had people coming to me and receiving calls from perspective renters and buyers.
"Basically people living in Dublin, some with a connection to Carlow, or maybe if it's a couple, one of them had a connection to Carlow.
"Not everybody, by the way, had a connection: some people were just directly looking for bang for their buck, and they found it in Carlow - like a new, three-bed semi at 240,000.
"So they couldn't find that anywhere else, rents are lower also".
"Naas, which is only a half an hour further down the road, starting there a new house starts at 310,000 up to 355,000 for a new three-bed semi-detached house.
"So half an hour further on the M9 you will get to Carlow and you can buy for €100,000 less."