Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant was launched on 14th July, 2022 and benefits those who wish to turn a formerly vacant house or building into their principal private residence.  When the grant was launched, vacant properties in towns and villages were included.  The grant was expanded in November 2022 to include eligible vacant properties in cities, towns, villages and rural parts of the country.

From 1st May, 2023, the grant has been further expanded to provide for applications for one property which will be made available for rent, in addition to one property which will be a principal private residence of the owner.  A maximum of two grants will be available to an applicant.  Only one grant will be available for a vacant property being made available for rent.

From 1 May 2023, 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, including the conversion of properties which have not been used as residential heretofore, subject to appropriate planning permission being in place.  This is 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 the VAT cost of the works.

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 (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous) or if 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.  In the case of a top-up grant in respect of a derelict property not on the Derelict Sites Register, an independent report prepared by an appropriately qualified professional is required to be submitted along with the application, confirming, to the satisfaction of the local authority, that the property is derelict.

Those applying for the grant are required to indicate on the application form if they are applying in respect of a property that will become their principal private residence or a property that will be made available for rent. This must be indicated at the outset as different conditions apply depending on the application type.

Those applying for the grant are also required to indicate on the application form if they are applying for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant alone or the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant including the Derelict Property top-up Grant.  The level of grant payable is contingent on the works approved by the local authority and is paid on completion of the works and based on vouched expenditure following a final inspection by the local authority.

Which Properties qualify for the Grant:

  • Properties considered for inclusion must be built up to and including 2007.  Evidence supporting this is required as part of the grant application.
  • Properties must be vacant for two years or more at the time of grant approval.  Proof of vacancy is required to support grant applications.
    Confirmation of vacancy can be validated and verified by the use of, for example, utility bills, which can help determine vacancy periods (e.g. continuous and consistent low or zero electricity usage or disconnection for a period of two years) or such other proofs as are available. Confirmation of vacancy must be validated and verified by the local authority prior to grant approval.  Please note that an applicant cannot leave a property unreasonably and purposely vacant for the purpose of qualifying for the grant.

Types of work covered

The following categories of works are eligible for grant assistance, subject to a reasonable cost assessment by the local authority and to the limits for specific works as set out in the table below. The works must be approved in advance, following inspection by the local authority of the subject property.

  • demolitions / strip-out / site clearance (including removal of hazardous materials)
  • substructure works (including works to foundations; rising walls; beds / slabs; damp-proofing; underpinning)
  • superstructure works (including works to internal / external walls; chimneys; upper floors; stairs; roof structure; other structural timbers)
  • completions (including works associated with external doors and windows; internal doors and associated frames, architraves and ironmongery; balustrades; skirtings; rooflights; fascias / soffits; rainwater goods)
  • finishes (including finishes to external / internal walls; ceiling finishes; tiling / waterproof finishes to wet areas; roof finishes)
  • services (including plumbing; heating; ventilation; power; lighting; telecommunications; smoke / CO2 detection)
  • fittings (including kitchen units; sanitary /bathroom fittings)
  • external works (necessary external / site works carried out within the curtilage of the site)
  • extension within the ambit of exempt development under planning regulations, as part of a wider refurbishment
  • professional services associated with works (fees / surveys)

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, that is, confirmation of engagement from the estate agent 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.

From 1 July 2023, additional support under the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is available to support the refurbishment of vacant and derelict properties located on the islands to help bring them back into use.  The maximum rate of the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant payable is up to 20% higher for eligible vacant and derelict properties on qualifying islands.

Full details of the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant are available in the following documents:

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – Application Form

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – FAQ’s

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – Scheme Outline


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