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06 Oct 2022

Thumbs up from Laois councillor for new €50 m dereliction fund

Thumbs up from Laois councillor for  new €50 m dereliction fund

Some properties in Borris-in-Ossory that have fallen into disrepair

New scheme to turn derelict house back into liveable homes has got the thumbs up from an independent Laois councillor.

Cllr James Kelly, Independent, welcomed the €50m Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund which he believes will assist in bring vacant buildings in towns and villages back into residential use.

The new fund will provide a grant of up to €30,000 for the refurbishment of a vacant property for occupation as a principal private residence.

Where a property is derelict, a 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.

The grant can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750.

“At a time when we have a housing shortage it is important that every policy initiative seeks to bringing back into use vacant or derelict buildings," said Cllr Kelly.

The Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District representative outlined the potential benefit.

“Considerable housing potential in towns is tied up in existing buildings and premises that may have fallen into disuse and disrepair, we have to work with local authorities in promoting the regeneration of towns and villages across the country.

“Through targeted programmes such as the Croí Cónaithe fund and others, focusing on tackling vacancy and dereliction, new homes can be delivered in our towns, with a variety and choice of accommodation for a range of household types, whether families and individuals, all with different housing needs.

“There are many good examples where disused buildings have been successfully redeveloped as homes. The learning from these projects can, through initiatives like the town centre first toolkit, help to scale these activities up and deliver homes for people who want to live in our towns and villages.

“Successful towns are underpinned by the availability and affordability of homes, strong local economy and sustainable employment for the local community.

“I know that supporting businesses of all sizes is a priority for local government, a local enterprise plan and community plan are vital component for a successful town centre, local authorities will continue to be supported with this important work.”

“Many towns in the country would greatly benefit from the fund, all these towns have significant buildings that could benefit under the provisions of the scheme.

"Over 90,000 vacant homes have been identified across our villages, towns and cities, bringing back many of these vacant or derelict buildings will be a significant challenge, but if successful the benefits for communities in terms of addressing dereliction and providing new homes and new opportunities will be a very significant game changer for our rural communities,” he concluded.

 

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