CROI CONAITHE FUND

CROÍ CÓNAITHE (TOWNS) GRANT

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant (Croí Cónaithe) is a fund of €50 million to support people to live in towns and villages in Ireland by providing a grant to refurbish vacant properties. The focus of the fund is on Home Ownership. 

A grant of up to a maximum of €30,000 will be available for the refurbishment of a vacant property for occupation of the homeowner, including the conversion of a property that has not been used as residential heretofore (subject to appropriate planning exemptions or permission being in place), as a principal private residence. This will be subject to upper limits for the types of work specified below having regard to a reasonable cost assessment by the local authority. The grant is inclusive of VAT cost of the works.

Where the refurbishment costs are expected to exceed the standard grant of up to €30,000, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be available where the property is confirmed by the applicant to be derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous) or if the property is already on the Derelict Sites Register bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €50,000. In the case of a top-up grant in respect of a derelict property where the property is not on the Derelict Sites Register, an independent report prepared by an appropriately qualified professional (e.g. quantity surveyor, engineer etc.) is required to be submitted along with the application confirming that the property is derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous).

The Fund will be managed and administered by local authorities on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Each local authority will receive and review applications for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant. For further information contact vacanthomesofficer@longfordcoco.ie

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant Application Form

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant Application Form Supporting Documentation

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant Scheme Outline

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant Frequently Asked Questions

Repair and Leasing Scheme

The Repair and Lease Scheme aim's to increase the supply of social housing by bringing vacant properties in need of refurbishment back into use. To help with the cost of carrying out the works required to refurbish a home, a local authority or Approved Housing Body (AHB) can initially pay for the necessary works (as agreed). As a condition of accessing this funding, the owner commits to the newly refurbished home being made available for social housing for an agreed term. The money the local authority or AHB put toward the refurbishment works is repaid by applying an additional discount on the rent paid to the owner. The full nominal value of the capital works must be repaid in full by the landlord within the term of the agreement via a reduced rent. The RLS calculator helps local authorities see how the different repayment arrangements will impact on the initial net payments to the landlord.

The scheme is targeted at owners who cannot afford the cost of the works required to bring a property that has been vacant for at least one year up to a lettable condition. Subject to the housing authority deeming a property suitable for social housing, and the agreement of the property owner, the cost of the necessary repairs will be met upfront by the local authority or an AHB.

The property owner agrees to enter a lease with the housing authority or AHB for a length that is linked to the value of the repairs, subject to a minimum of 5 years. The housing authority pays the owners a proportion of the agreed market rent for the duration of the agreement. Under a RAS type of availability agreement, the property owner can receive up to 95% of market rent. For a longer-term leasing arrangement, up to 80/85% of market rent can be paid.

The loan the owner used to fund the initial repairs to the property must be repaid over the term of the agreement. In addition to the discount on market rent (as above), the value of the works paid for by the local authority/AHB is recovered by reducing the rent over a defined period within the lease. This can include a rent-free period.

Repair and Lease is part of the National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy 2018-2021.

Property Owners – Opportunity to Repair & Lease Vacant Property

Longford County Council is inviting applications from owners of vacant property under a new scheme called the Vacant Housing Repair and Leasing Scheme which is a key component of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. If a property requires repairs to bring it up to the Standards for Letting, Longford County Council or an Approved Housing Body will pay for this repair work up-front in return for the property being made available for social housing through a lease for a period of at least 5 years. There are a number of requirements in relation to the Scheme:

  1. The property must be vacant for at least one year.
  2. There must be a social housing demand for property in the area.
  3. The maximum funding allowable was is €60,000 per unit to tackle vacancy in ‘over the shop’ properties and other dwellings.
  4. Examples of eligible works are new flooring, low grade plumbing/ heating works, energy efficiency upgrades, insulation, painting/decorating, windows/doors upgrade/replacements.
  5. Significant structural works are not eligible e.g. extension, roof replacement.
  6. The minimum lease term is 5 years and the maximum is 25 years depending on the cost of the works.
  7. The lease payments will be based on the general terms of social leasing which is set at 80% (85% for apartments) of the current market rental rates in the property location.
  8. A further adjustment to the lease payment to off-set the cost of the repair/upgrade work until the cost of the work has been repaid.
  9. Property Owners must prove ownership and be tax compliant and must engage the Contractor.
  10. This initiative is not available for private renting.

Further details of the Scheme and Application Form are available below:

REPAIR AND LEASING -PILOT

 The Dept recently advised local authorities of an expansion to the Repair and Leasing scheme (RLS) which removes the requirement that a property owner must be unable to fund or access funding to bring vacant properties into compliance with the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019. This modification applies to certain categories of vacant properties only. These are:

  • vacant commercial properties
  • vacant units associated with a commercial property (e.g. over a shop);
  • vacant former institutional buildings and
  • unfinished developments where these have been vacant for a significant period.

 This expansion is on a pilot basis. Approval must be granted by the local authority or DHLGH, where appropriate, on or before to 31st December 2022.

Contact:

Vacant Homes Unit, Longford County Council, Market Square, Longford

Tel: (043) 3343499 Email vacanthomesofficer@longfordcoco.ie