Over 6,000 applications have been received to date for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.

Of those applications, almost half also applied for the derelict property top-up grant.

Approval has been given to 3,166 applications, and those home owners have got the go-ahead to get works started.

Provided the property will be the principal primary residence of the applicant, grant aid up to a maximum of €50,000 is available. This also applies if the house is to be used for long-term rental registered with the Registered Tenancy Board. An individual can make a maximum of two applications.


In order for a property to qualify for the grant, there are two key elements. The property must be built before 2008 and be vacant for at least two years.

In order to qualify, applicants must own the property or be in the process of purchasing it.

If a house is derelict, a further top-up of €20,000 is available, bringing the total grant up to €70,000. In July 2023, a top-up of 20% was announced for properties on some of the islands, acknowledging the extra cost involved to carry out building work in these locations. This means up to €60,000 and €84,000 is potentially available for vacant and derelict buildings on off-shore islands.

A key requirement of the grant is that the applicant must live in the property or make it available to rent for a period of at least five years from date of payment. If these circumstances change within five years after the grant is received, there is a clawback of 100% to the local authority.

This reduces to 75% between five and 10 years after payment. The owner is free to sell or remove the property from the rental market 10 years after receiving the grant.

Launched by the Department of Housing in July 2022, it was initially only available for properties in towns and villages. In November 2022 it was extended nationwide. Over shop or pub units can also apply, as can vacant commercial properties and former public use buildings.

At a recent Teagasc webinar, Ann Marie O’Connell from the Department of Housing outlined the key qualifying criteria and financial aid available to refurbish these vacant properties. It proved popular, with over 300 questions received throughout its duration.