A new scheme paying grants of between €30,000 and €50,000 for the refurbishment of vacant and derelict homes in rural areas will be unveiled on Tuesday.

The expanded Croí Conaithe Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant has extended supports for refurbishment of eligible properties to both cities and rural areas. The grants have been available for houses in towns and villages since July.

Under the terms of the scheme, payments of €30,000 are available for refurbishment works where a house that was built before 1993 has been vacant for at least two years. Payments of up to €50,000 are available where the house is deemed to be derelict.

Only properties that will be the principal private residence of applicants will qualify for grants under the scheme. Houses for rent or resale will not be eligible.


Proof of both vacancy and ownership will be required to support the grant application.

The renovation works eligible for grant aid include demolition, structural work, the upgrading of services such as plumbing, heating and ventilation, electrical and external works and small extensions.

All works must be approved in advance of applying for the grants and must follow an inspection of the property by local authority staff.

The revised scheme will be launched by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien later on Tuesday.

Ahead of the announcement, Minister O’Brien pointed out that 420 applications have already been received by local authorities for the current Croí Conaithe scheme since it opened in July. It has a fund of €30m.

He said there are now 29 full-time vacant homes officers across the country who are “focused on bringing vacant stock back into productive use”.

While the full details of the scheme have yet to be outlined, priority access is expected to be given to first-time buyers and buyers who qualify under the fresh start principal (those who are recently divorced or separated).