Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, launched the expanded Croí Cónaithe Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant on 15th November, 2022.

The expanded grant now includes eligible vacant properties in both cities and more remote rural areas (in addition to those in towns and villages, which have been eligible since July). The scheme’s expansion will help bring vacant and derelict properties back into residential use and ensure the existing housing stock is used to the fullest extent possible. It will also help limit emissions from residential construction and add vibrancy to Ireland’s cities and rural areas.

A grant of up to a maximum of €30,000 will be available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence, including the conversion of a property which has not previously been used as residential.  This will be subject to upper limits for the types of work required, 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 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, 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.

Who is eligible for the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund?

The Fund is focused on home ownership.  A range of individuals or households will be eligible to avail of the scheme, with the prioritisation of applications for consideration using the framework below and in line with overall funding available. The priorities will be implemented on a sliding scale as follows:

  1. Applicants who are First Time Buyers (i.e. not have purchased or built a home for themselves) or who qualify under the ‘Fresh Start’ principle. The Fresh Start principle includes previous homeowners who have experienced divorce or separation, or
    insolvency or bankruptcy, and who no longer have a legal interest in the previous home;
  2. Applicants (other than 1 above) who have particular needs – specifically, disabled people or older people who are moving from their current home which they are selling or have sold and want to refurbish and live in a vacant property;
  3. Applicants (other than 1 and 2 above) who are moving from their current home which they are selling or have sold and want to refurbish and live in a vacant property.

The property owner must intend in good faith to reside in the dwelling as his or her principal private residence on completion of the qualifying works to the dwelling.  A declaration the individual intends to reside in the dwelling as his or her principal private residence on completion of the qualifying works to the dwelling must be provided to the Council and clawback conditions will apply where the applicant ceases to reside in the dwelling as a principal private residence.

In order to qualify for the scheme, properties must be:

  • Vacant for at least 2 years and
  • Built before 1993.

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)

Confirmation of vacancy can be validated and verified by the use of, for example, Utility Bills, which can help determine vacancy periods (for example: pattern of usage or disconnection) or such other proofs as are available to the satisfaction of the local authority.

The scheme is exclusively available to individuals or households for which the property will be their principal private residence. It is not available to undertakings and/or developers, and so on.

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.

Applicants may only avail of the grant once in keeping with the requirement that it be their principal private residence.

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – Application Form

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – FAQs

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant – Scheme Outline

Further information is also available here.