North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will broaden the Local Authority Home Loan to make finance available to purchase and renovate derelict or non-habitable properties for the first time.
The Government has also agreed to double the number of homes eligible for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant under the Croí Cónaithe Fund – raising the target to 4,000 homes to be delivered by 2025.
Commenting on the announcement, Cllr. O’Shea said “These measures are evidence of the Government’s continued focus on bringing vacant and derelict homes back into use and they have listened to local authority members on the ground who have been advocating for these changes”.
“Tackling vacancy is one of the actions necessary to meet the housing challenge and I’m delighted to say that the interventions to date have been hugely popular. The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant has been a particular success in Cork – with over 2,400 projects nationally currently approved and in progress with payment to be made by the local authorities, when the works are completed and verified. Given the appetite for the Grant, I am delighted that Government are now doubling the target to 4,000 by 2025″.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said “There is real momentum in our Housing for All strategy. We are building more affordable homes, delivering more social houses, bringing more vacant properties back to life, and helping more first time buyers to own their own home”.
“Furthermore, I am pleased to confirm that we will be extending the availability of the Local Authority Home Loan to finance the purchase and renovation of derelict and non-habitable properties. This will meet our objective of bringing homes back into use, which is a major focus of Housing for All, and it will also provide a means for many eligible individuals and families out there to finance renovation projects on their own initiative. Officials in the Department of Housing will now be tasked with finalising the details of implementation to ensure we can have this ready for applicants in Q2 of 2024.”
While both vacant and derelict properties can qualify for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant (of €50,000 and €70,000 respectively), only habitable properties currently meet the property eligibility of the Local Authority Home Loan. The extension announced this week will allow eligible loan applicants to plug any gaps where sufficient finance is not available to complete renovation projects.