A new €50m fund will support bringing vacant and underused buildings in Donegal’s towns and villages back into residential use.
The Croí Cónaithe (Towns) scheme was launched today by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, together with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
“Many areas of towns and villages face the blight of vacant properties, which, if brought back into use, could add real vibrancy to towns of all sizes across county Donegal,” the government said.
“This is a clear ambition of the government’s Our Rural Future policy and of the recently published Town Centre First policy, which aims to tackle vacancy, combat dereliction and breathe new life into our town centres.”
The scheme is set to benefit those who wish to turn a formerly vacant house or building into their principal private residence (own home) and become part of the community in the area.
This, the government added, will further the aim to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit, while also functioning as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community.
The Fund will be delivered through local authorities who will provide a grant to support the refurbishment of vacant properties, with priority given to applications in areas where the level of vacancy or dereliction is high.
A grant of up to €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 been used as a home before now.
Where a property is derelict, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be available, bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €50,000. This can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750.
The application form, eligibility criteria and associated FAQs as published (available here) will provide additional information to people who would like to apply for the grant. Further information will be available from the Vacant Homes Officer in each local authority.