New Croí Cónaithe fund will help refurbish vacant properties, increase home ownership and revitalise communities in Waterford
Properties in Towns & Villages to be target of new scheme which will assist more people in owning their own home
Waterford Senator John Cummins and Fine Gael spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage has described a new government scheme which will provide grants of up to €50,000 as a really positive development which will help individuals and families to purchase and renovate derelict and vacant homes in towns and villages across Waterford
Senator Cummins said, “The new €50 million Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund was announced by the government today (Thursday). This funding will be crucial to bringing vacant and underused buildings in Waterford’s towns and villages back into residential use.
“Fine Gael is working to create stronger safer communities and in Government we are prioritising programmes like Croí Cónaithe to achieve this. While Waterford fairs better than most when it comes to vacancy and dereliction, there is still an opportunity to improve further and breathe new life into our communities and ensure they are better places in which to live, to work and to raise families.
“The Scheme is set to benefit those who wish to turn a formerly vacant house or building into their principal private residence and become part of the community in the area. The Fund will be delivered through Waterford City and County Council who will provide a grant to support the refurbishment of vacant properties, with priority given to applications in areas where the level of vacancy or dereliction is high.
“A grant of up to €30,000 will be available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence, including the conversion of a property which has not been used as a home before now. Where a property is derelict, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be available, bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €50,000.
Senator Cummins said “One of the things which people have been saying to me over the past twelve months is that while they welcome and appreciate the Help to Buy scheme which gives first time buyers up to €30,000 or 10% towards the purchase or construction of a new home, it doesn’t apply to older buildings which maybe more reasonably priced. The rationale for this is sound, we want to stimulate the construction of new homes, however many people don’t want a new build or their mortgage doesn’t allow them to purchase a new build.
“While the new First Home Shared Equity Scheme will bridge the affordability gap, allowing many more young people to purchase a new build home, this grant scheme is focused on those who may want to bring a vacant or derelict property back to life. I know it will be welcomed by individuals and couples looking to own their own home and by communities who have had to put up with the blight of derelict and vacant properties in their communities.
He added “There should now be no excuse whatsoever for a property remaining vacant or derelict for a protracted period. Between the Repair and Lease Scheme, the Buy & Renew Scheme, changes to the FairDeal scheme and the introduction of this Croi Conaithe (Towns) fund, there is now tangible finance available to support all those who own or wish to own a vacant or derelict property and bring it back into productive use for housing. Importantly, this can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750.
Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Peter Burke, added, “Today’s new fund is a part of a suite of measures undertaken by the government to tackle vacancy. It will be complemented by the upcoming Vacant Property Tax to help bring more properties back into use across the country.”
This Scheme is part of the Government’s Our Rural Future policy and the recently published Town Centre First policy, which aims to tackle vacancy and dereliction and breathe new life into our town centres. It also delivers on the ambition set out in Pathway 4 of Housing for All which aims to address vacancy and make efficient use of existing housing stock.
The application form, eligibility criteria and associated FAQs can be found on gov.ie and will provide additional information to people who would like to apply for the grant. Further information will be available from the Vacant Homes Officer in each local authority.