Under the new Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund scheme, first-time buyers will be provided total grant aid up to a maximum of €50,000 to renovate and refurbish derelict properties as their principal private residence.

Where the refurbishment costs are expected to exceed the standard grant of up to €30,000, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be made available where the property is confirmed by the applicant to be derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous) bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €50,000.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, described it as a hugely important scheme for individuals and families throughout the country who are trying to secure a home. “It will also play a decisive role in addressing the issue of vacancy and dereliction which faces many rural communities.”

The Minister continued: “By supporting people to renovate vacant properties as Minister O’Brien is enabling through this new Fund, we not only support more people to live, work and raise families in rural areas, but we also revitalise our rural areas for the benefit of everyone.”

This scheme follows a commitment under the national rural development policy ‘Our Rural Future’ to introduce new supports and incentives to refurbish vacant properties. It directly complements other supports provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

These supports include the new 2022 Building Acquisition Measure, which provides up to €400,000 to each local authority to purchase vacant and derelict buildings for future development as community assets, and the broader Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which is designed to rejuvenate small rural towns and villages throughout Ireland.

The Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ policy represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland. Its objectives will be achieved through the delivery of 161 measures, to be implemented progressively over the life of the policy across a range of government departments and agencies.

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