The Government should consider changes to how the Croí Cónaithe scheme operates to ensure that it remains highly attractive to potential property owners, Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has said.

Kelleher was commenting after it was reported that only 3% of applicants for grants under the Vacant Property Refurbishment Scheme have received payments by the end of 2023.

“While many of the applications are being approved, payment is being delayed until all the works are completed,” which he said is very offputting for would-be applicants.

“Many do not have the cash reserves to fund the development works needed to complete the project while at the same time paying a mortgage.

“Builders also do not have the cash reserves to fund a project, including materials and salaries, while waiting for the grant money to be issued."


He believes that “staged payments, similar to what happens with self-build mortgages, would make this scheme even more attractive.

“The scheme needs to be attractive to all potential homeowners and not just those who have the cash reserves to fund the renovation works until the grant is paid out," he said.

Staged payments

“Junior housing Minister O’Donnell’s comments that staged payments may be looked into when the scheme is reviewed in the middle of 2025 just doesn’t cut it.

“Waiting another 12 months or more to amend the scheme to make it more attractive makes no sense to me. It’s unnecessary and impacts on the Government’s overall housing for all targets and commitments,” concluded Kelleher.