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Expansion of Croí Cónaithe Scheme

Paddy Smyth
18/11/2022

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Ireland

The Croí Cónaithe Scheme was introduced in July of this year to provide grants of up to €50,000 for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence. When first introduced, the Scheme was available in towns and villages only. This came under scrutiny with questions raised as to why these restrictions were placed on the Scheme.

Operation of the Scheme

€50 million was initially allocated to the scheme to be reviewed if the scheme becomes oversubscribed. A grant of €30,000 is available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence, including the conversion of a property which has not been used as a residence previously. Where a property is confirmed by an applicant to be derelict, an additional top-up of up to €20,000 will be available. As the Scheme is exclusively available to individuals or households for which the property will be their principal private residence, it is not open to developers or applicants who wish to refurbish their property and rent it out.

A range of individuals or households are eligible for the scheme including:
  • First time buyers;
  • Those who have particular needs (specifically disabled or older people); and
  • Applicants who are moving from their current home or have sold and want to refurbish and live in a vacant property.
In order to be considered for inclusion, properties must be vacant for two years or more and built before 1993.

Expansion of the Scheme

On the 15th of November 2022, the Scheme was expanded with the announcement that properties in inner city areas including Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick as well as one-off farmhouses in rural locations, will come into the remit of the Scheme.

The Scheme aims to bring unoccupied buildings back into use as family homes. Since its introduction, 365 applications have been made. This number looks set to increase drastically now that the Scheme has been opened up to all vacant and derelict properties nationwide. The expansion of the Scheme will also help limit emissions from residential construction and add vibrancy to Ireland's cities and rural areas.

Meeting the Target

The target of the Scheme is to bring 2,000 derelict or vacant homes back into use by 2025. The Preliminary Census 2022 recorded more than 166,000 dwellings as vacant in the State and in that context, this seems somewhat unambitious. However, the expansion of the scheme is certainly a step in the right direction and demonstrates a trend towards unravelling some of the red tape which has had a stranglehold on redevelopment of old, idle properties.

Written by Paddy Smyth and Michael O'Tighearnaigh

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