New Croí Cónaithe fund to help refurbish vacant properties & increase home ownership
A new Government fund called Croí Cónaithe will support bringing vacant and underused buildings in Dublin towns and villages back into residential use, a local Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins said, “A 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 Dublin 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. Many areas in Dublin are experiencing vacancy and dereliction and we want to breathe new life into these 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. We are working to create vibrant town centres in Dublin once more.
“The Fund will be delivered through South Dublin 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. This can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750.
“It is intended that the Crói Cónaithe Fund will apply in all towns with a population of over 400 people, and also to some smaller villages, which may not be defined towns or villages for the purposes of the CSO Census mapping but with sufficient provision of services and amenities.”
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 as published 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 South Dublin County Council.
Notes to the editor
Properties considered for inclusion must be vacant for two years or more and built before 1993.
Confirmation of vacancy can be validated and verified by the use of, for example, Utility Bills which can help determine vacancy periods (e.g. pattern of usage or disconnection) or such other proofs as are available to the satisfaction of the local authority.
The scheme is exclusively available to individuals or households for which the property will be their principal private residence. It is not available to undertakings and/or developers, etc.
A Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Better Energy Home Scheme Grant may be available in combination with this grant. Works covered by SEAI Better Energy Homes Scheme will therefore not be covered.
Proof of both vacancy and ownership will be required to support the grant payment. In terms of ownership, it is a matter for the applicant to confirm ownership with the local authority.
A local authority may give approval in principle to a grant application where the applicant is able to provide evidence of active negotiations to purchase a property i.e. confirmation of engagement from the estate agency or owner of the property and where the owner provides such evidence as to vacancy as is required under the scheme on behalf of the applicant.
The following categories of works will be eligible for grant assistance, subject to a reasonable cost assessment by the local authority and to any limits for specific works:
Substructure works, including works to foundations, rising walls, floor slabs, damp-proofing and underpinning
Structural works to superstructure, including walls, party walls, chimneys, suspended timber floors, structural timbers
Works to internal walls, stairs, and landings, and internal wall completions including doors, windows, and applied finishes
External walls completions including doors, windows, sills, and applied finishes
Roof completions, including flashings, fascias, soffits, gutters, downpipes
Building services including plumbing, heating, ventilation, electrical services, telecommunications,
Painting and decoration required because of works carried out
Extension within the ambit of exempt development under planning regulations, as part of a wider refurbishment
Necessary external works and site development works carried out within the curtilage of the site
Professional services associated with works
There are over 500 towns and villages in Ireland with a population of over 400 people. It is intended that the Crói Cónaithe Fund will apply in all such towns, and also to some smaller villages, which may not be defined towns or villages for the purposes of the CSO Census mapping but with sufficient provision of services and amenities.
While initially the Fund will not apply to towns within the city and suburb boundaries of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford, as defined by the CSO Census mapping, the potential for inclusion of such towns within cities and suburbs will be further considered during the initial phase of the programme.
Towns outside of the city and suburb boundary in the CSO Census are defined as a separate ‘town’ and will therefore be eligible, e.g. Balbriggan.
Applicants may only avail of the grant once in keeping with the requirement that it be their principal private residence.