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05 Jul 2022

'Not one shilling' in grants for young Laois people buying old homes

'Not one shilling' in grants for young Laois people buying old homes

A shop currently for sale in Rathdowney, Laois

There are zero grants available for young people buying and renovating old shops and houses, Laois County Council has confirmed.

The council say that the only grants available to do house repairs are for older people. 

Cllr Ollie Clooney has lambasted the system that does not help young people who want to save heritage houses.

They include Main Street vacant homes such as the a shop with upstairs accommodation currently for sale in Rathdowney, with an auction guide of just €85,000 (pictured).

"Young couples interested in older houses get no help whatsoever. This is one area that would benefit the youth of Ireland and clean up our towns as well. I made enquiries. There is not one shilling to be got. There's a big exclusion here. It's a pity that young people can't be helped who are buying houses and making a home," he said.

He raised the issue at the May meeting of Laois County Council.

Housing officer Trevor Hennessy confirmed the limited grants available.

"The only help is the Housing Aid for Older People grant," he said.

The council Cathaoirleach Cllr Conor Bergin backed up Cllr Clooney.

"You are spot on. You can get help to buy a new house, but there is none for old," he said.

Cllr Dwane Stanley points to another scheme where the council pay for someone to renovate an old house which then must be rented to council tenants for a fixed number of years. 

"There is the repair and lease scheme but that is no good if you are looking to live there. It is a very good way to get on top of dereliction," she said.

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