Scheme to upgrade vacant and derelict properties extended to Rural Areas

Minister Peter Burke has announced the extension of the Croi Conaithe Scheme, which sees grants of between €30,000 and €50,000 given to homeowners who wish to upgrade vacant or derelict properties.

Previously, the scheme applied only to town and villages; properties located within the boundaries of settlements.

However, Minister Burke has now said he is delighted he has secured approval to extend the scheme to everywhere in the countryside, including in rural locations.

“The Croi Conaithe Towns Scheme is a really positive intervention by Government, whereby those wishing to upgrade vacant or derelict properties to live in can be supported by Government grants."

A total of €30,000 is available for vacant properties and €50,000 for derelict; derelict properties must be structurally unsound and require significant works.

“While the money will not cover all works, it would make a significant dent in assisting first time buyers and those who may want to move to larger properties to accommodate their growing families. Applicants must be using the grant for a property that will become their principal residence, so it’s unavailable to developers or those upgrading a second home.

“When this was set up over the summer, it was aimed at towns and villages. I am glad to announce that due to demand and calls from many to extend the scheme rurally, we have acted, and this will be in place from November.

“Local Authorities will manage the scheme and draw down the money from a central fund within the Department. I am hopeful that if demand is high, we can seek approval for further resources so that those interested in the scheme can be accommodated.

“Progress is being made in housing, with the number of commencement and planning permissions increasing this year significantly. While the State has direct responsibility for provision of social housing, there must be options there for those who aren’t eligible for social housing support. As a Minister from a rural background, it is important to me that Government grants are available to those who live rurally as well as in towns and cities”.