November 15th, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien announced that the Croí Cónaithe scheme would be extended to include all vacant and derelict properties across cities, towns, villages and rural areas. Previously inner city areas including Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Limerick as well as one-off farmhouses in rural areas were excluded from the vacant property grant.
Since the news broke, we have received numerous phone calls and emails about the scheme, so we have decided to put together a simple guide to answer all of your questions.
What is Croí Cónaithe?
The Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund is a new initiative to encourage home buyers to purchase and renovate existing buildings to live in as their principal residence. Grants of up €50,000 are available for derelict buildings to help bridge the gap of renovation costs.
The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, funded by the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund was launched on 14 July 2022 and will benefit those who wish to turn a formerly vacant house or building into their principal private residence.
What funding is available?
A grant of €30k max is available for the refurbishment of a vacant property to be used as principal private residence. Clawback conditions apply withing 10 year period. A Top up grant of €20k available if the property is structurally unsound/unsafe. (Independent report is required by a qualified professional stating the property is derelict if the property is not on derelict site register).
What properties are eligible
Eligible properties must be;
Built before 1993 and
Vacant for two or more years
For a property to be deemed derelict, an independent report is required by a qualified professional stating the property is derelict if the property is not on derelict site register.
How can I prove that the property is vacant?
What is accepted as Proof of vacancy ;
- ESB Networks may be able to provide a letter to state that electricity was cut off on X date or a letter to state there has been low energy usage in the property for X years.
- Letter from estate agent on company headed notepaper stating that the property has been unoccupied for X years.
- Sworn solicitor’s affidavit by the previous owners stating that they have not lived in the property for X years
Do I have to own the property to avail of the grant?
Proof of ownership is required to support the grant application.
A local authority may give approval in principle to an application where the applicant can provide evidence of active negotiations to purchase a property (i.e., confirmation of engagement from estate agent or owner of the property).
Note: No drawdown may take place until such ownership has been confirmed to the satisfaction of the local authority.
What is accepted as evidence of ownership:
- Title deed or similar legal instrument proving ownership of the property
- Evidence of current paid building insurance policy
- Evidence of payment of Local Property Tax (LPT)
- Mortgage statement dated within the last 12 months
I purchased a vacant property before the scheme was launched on 14 July 2022, can I still apply for the grant?
Yes, you can. You will be required to prove ownership of the property and proof that the property has been vacant for 2 years or more and the works have not yet begun on the property. Only proposed works after the application has been submitted and approved by the local authority can be considered for the grant.
I am working on a new build where the property/site has been vacant while works are carried out. Can I qualify?
No, the grant is only available to support the refurbishment of vacant properties that have been built before 1993 and have been vacant for two years or more. New build are not eligible for the grant.
Can developers or investors who wish to refurbish a property to sell or rent apply for the grant?
No. This scheme is only available to individuals or households who wish to live in the property as their principal private residence.
I already own a property which I do not intend to sell. Can I apply?
No, you must be selling or have sold your previous home to avail of this grant.
Who is eligible for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant?
This grant is focused on home ownership. Households or individuals who will utilise the property as their principal private residence can avail of the scheme.
1. First Time Buyers or those who qualify under the ‘Fresh Start’ principle.
2.Applicants with particular needs – specifically disabled people or older people moving form their current home (which they are selling or have sold).
3.Applicants who are moving from their current home which they have sold or are currently selling.
What areas are included for this grant?
As of November 15th, this grant was extended and now applies to qualifying vacant properties in cities, towns, villages and rural parts of the country.
I previously applied but my application was rejected because it didn’t meet the location requirements. Can I reapply?
Yes, all applications previously rejected will now be considered. Contact your local authority about this.
We have several properties for sale which would be applicable for this grant. For more information feel free to get in touch.
For up to date information on this grant, see here