It was announced in the Irish Farmers Journal last week that a new grant of up to €50,000 will be made available to refurbish one-off rural houses, including farmhouses.
This grant is an extension of the existing Croí Cónaithe scheme, which provides for the refurbishment of derelict and vacant properties into principal private dwellings in towns and villages.
It provides for up to €50,000 for derelict houses and up to €30,000 for vacant houses.
Announcing the scheme at the National Ploughing Championships, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said it will be open for applications through local authorities.
The Department of Housing has said it is hopeful that the expanded scheme will be available from November.
Here are some of the details of the scheme:
To access the extra €20,000 for derelict homes, on top of the €30,000 for vacant homes (bringing the total grant to €50,000), an independent report by an appropriately qualified professional (i.e a quantity surveyor or engineer) must be submitted along with the application confirming the site is derelict (derelict meaning structurally unsound and dangerous).
The property must be built before 1993.
Properties must be vacant for two years or more. Proof of vacancy must be provided.
The applicant(s) must own or jointly own the dwelling. Proof of ownership must be provided.
It is expected that the applicant(s) will live in the house for a period of at least 10 years. If the house is sold within five years of the date of the subsidy being paid, the State can clawback 100% of the grant. If it is sold over five years but less than 10 years, the State can claim back 75% of the grant.
There is a framework of priorities for applicants. This includes the prioritisation of first time buyers and buyers who qualify under the fresh start principal (i.e those who have experienced divorce).