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For Oral Answer on : 15/02/2024
Question Number(s): 83 Question Reference(s): 6651/24

Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by:  David Stanton T.D.

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QUESTION


* To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the amount of vacant property refurbishment grant funding drawn down to date by each respective local authority, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.


For ORAL answer on Thursday, 15 February, 2024.

REPLY


Pathway 4 of Housing for All sets out a blueprint to address vacancy and make efficient use of our existing housing stock. 

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant supports bringing vacant and derelict properties back into use. A grant of up to a maximum of €50,000 is available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence and for properties which will be made available for rent.

Where the refurbishment costs are expected to exceed the standard grant of up to €50,000, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 is available where the property is confirmed by the applicant to be derelict or where the property is already on the local authority’s Derelict Sites Register, bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €70,000. 

The grant is available in respect of vacant and derelict properties built up to and including 2007, in towns, villages, cities and rural areas.

Feedback on the Grant has been very positive, with over 6,500 applications reported as received to date, 3,570 applications approved and in excess of 135 grants paid out as works are completed

Currently, from the data available to my Department, works are taking some 13 months to complete, at which point the local authority will conduct a final visit to check the works have been carried out. Where the local authority is satisfied, and the necessary documentation is provided by the applicant, the grant can then be paid.

Data available to my Department shows that of the applications approved to 31st December 2023, a total of 150 were approved over 13 months previously, so the number of grants paid are tracking the levels of initial approvals as the grant got up and running.

It is anticipated that the payment of grants by Local Authorities will increase significantly during 2024 as more works are completed in line with approval timelines.

My Department publishes data on applications for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant on its website on a quarterly basis. Data published includes the number of applications received, approved, rejected and paid per local authority and the total value of grants paid. 

When the Croí Cónaithe Towns Fund was launched, a commitment was given that the schemes funded by it would be kept under ongoing review. A comprehensive review and evaluation of the schemes under the Croí Cónaithe Towns Fund is underway and is expected to be completed by mid-2024.