Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the announcement that families can now apply for a grant of €50,000 to refurbish a home that has been vacant for two years, with an additional top-up grant available if the property is derelict.
The details of the revised grant scheme will be published by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien TD after this week’s Cabinet meeting.
Up to now this grant was only available for those wishing to live in that refurbished property, but once refurbished it can now be rented out, helping to ease the housing pressure in many parts of the country.
In addition, these properties may also be eligible for energy retrofitting grants of €30,000.
The Regional Group of Independent TDs put forward proposals last month to enhance the refurbishment scheme, which were taken up by Government and it is hoped that some of the up to an estimated 160,000 properties that are vacant will now be opened up for renters.
“The original grant for refurbishing a vacant home was a proposal which I brought to Minister Darragh O’Brien and, to his credit, he introduced this new grant scheme last year which is open to applications for any person who is willing to rent out the property that has been vacant for two years,” stated Denis Naughten.
“In my own constituency of Roscommon and East Galway alone there are an estimated 6,000 vacant homes in our towns, villages and rural areas and with this grant there is an opportunity to bring young families back onto streets and into townlands that have not had a football kicked on them in a generation.
“Not only will this help to ease the housing pressures in the short term but will also help to secure the viability of primary schools and other local services.
The application form can be accessed at Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant or on the local County Council website.
Regional Independent TDs housing proposals adopted by Government last month.
The objective behind the eight proposals is to secure rental accommodation for those facing eviction, provide relief for small landlords to ensure they remain within the market and ensure affordable housing is made available to young couples and families:
- Remove barriers to older people in long term nursing home care who wish to lease out their homes effective from the 1stof May 2023.
- Increase the grant rates for the Croí Cónaithe refurbishment scheme to reflect current building costs, effective from the 1stof May 2023.
- The Croí Cónaithe refurbishment scheme needs to be extended to include properties which are made available for rent and not just owner occupied, effective from the 1stof May 2023.
- Revise the Croí Cónaithe scheme to include properties built prior to 2007, effective from the 1stof May
- Extend the rent-a -room relief scheme to people receiving social welfare payments who rent out a room so that they do not lose supplementary benefits such as the medical card effective from the 1stof May 2023.
- Introduce in Budget 2024 of a tax relief scheme to take effect in the current tax year for small landlords.
- Amend the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) to guarantee payment to landlords where the tenant defaults on payment of contribution to HAP effective from the 1stof May 2023.
- Immediately engage with site owners who have obtained planning under the Strategic Infrastructure Development and that have not yet commenced building due to viability issues to ensure immediate commencement of these projects under the affordable housing scheme.