The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage has recently extended eligibility for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant to owners of vacant properties in both cities and remote rural areas. Effectively, this means that all areas of the country now fall within scope of the scheme which applies to eligible dwellings that can be refurbished to become permanent homes.
What is the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant?
The grant, which is administered by local authorities, aims to bring vacant and derelict properties back into residential use while at the same time helping to limit emissions from residential construction and “add vibrancy to Ireland’s cities and rural areas”. Eligible applicants can receive assistance of up to €30,000 to refurbish a vacant house or building which they turn into their permanent home. The grant is subject to upper limits for different types of work and is inclusive of the VAT cost of the works. A top-up grant of up to €20,000 is available if the property being refurbished is derelict.
The grants can be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme which provides assistance to homeowners to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and covers works of up to €26,750.
Who can apply?
Individuals and householders who will live in the vacant property when it is refurbished are eligible to apply for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant. Developers, undertakings and applicants who want to rent out the property are excluded from the scheme.
To qualify, applicants must be be able to show that the property was built before 1993 and has been vacant for at least two years. Proof of both vacancy and ownership is required. In addition, the property must fall under one of the categories outlined in the scheme’s Framework of Priorities which is set out on the application form. Applicants can only avail of the grant once.
Works eligible for assistance
Various categories of work are eligible for assistance. These include demolitions, substructure and superstructure works, completions, finishes, services, fittings, external works, certain types of extension, and professional fees. However it is important to note that grants are subject to a reasonable cost assessment and all works must be approved by the local authority in advance.
Vacant and derelict farmhouses
In rural areas, vacant and derelict farmhouses could qualify for the grant. These dwellings are often well-situated in terms of shelter and orientation, making refurbishment an attractive option for suitable properties.
Further information on the eligibility criteria and application process for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant are available on the Government website or by contacting the Vacant Homes Officer in your Local Authorit