Ireland's Property News

Ireland's Property News

Grant for first-time buyers of derelict properties planned

Grant for first time buyers of derelict properties planned - Ireland - Topcomhomes

Grant for first-time buyers of derelict properties planned

New regulations which would allow vacant and derelict pubs to be turned into homes without the requirement for planning permission will come before the Oireachtas at the beginning of next month.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has also said a new grant will be announced shortly for first-time buyers who buy a derelict property.

A residential buildings report from geoDirectory published this week found that there are more than 100,000 vacant and derelict homes across the country.

Assistant Professor in Social Policy at Maynooth University Rory Hearne said more needs to be done to tackle the issue of vacant and derelict properties.

"What we need is a really effective vacant and derelict property tax. What is vital is that it is enough of a disincentive that essentially it forces property owners of vacant and derelict properties to sell or to do it up and use it as rental homes"

Mr O'Brien has said a grant of between €20,000 and €30,000 will be announced shortly to encourage first-time buyers to purchase derelict properties.

"So a lot of potential first-time buyers are out there who see properties on the main streets of our towns and villages and indeed are looking at them saying if I had a little bit of assistance I could buy there I could live there."

Caitriona Scully is one of the thousands of first-time buyers across the country.

"It's soul destroying sometimes, you are looking at 40/50 grand above your budget and when you sit down and do the numbers, you're like I can never afford that."

After two years trying to get on the property ladder, she has finally gone sale agreed on a house in Limerick, but the process has not been easy.

"The maximum I would have been able to get is €120,000 so I started looking in that bracket over that time frame and literally everything that I was finding was all derelict properties. I could not find anything in my price range.

"I got lucky in the end I found something, but it wasn't exactly in my price range, I got a little bit of help with it."

Minister O'Brien also said new regulations allowing pubs to change from commercial to residential use without planning permission will come into force next month.

"I believe that we will be able to untap a fairly significant resource of very prominent buildings. Most of our towns and villages are where our pubs are ... they are on the main streets," he said.

The Chief Executive of housing charity, the Peter McVerry Trust, said there are vacant and derelict pubs across the country, which could be used as housing.

Pat Doyle said: "We are working on four pubs at the moment in four counties and they are going to bring back 18 properties.

"Everyone knows when you go for planning for a new development, if we want to bring those 18 apartments in one location in Dublin it will take us two years to do that between planning, procurement, tendering, the whole lot.

"Now if we already have the unit and they avoid the planning, then it's really just about the procurement process and getting the builder on site and getting the building brought up to scratch."

Sinn Féin's Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said these measures do not go far enough.

"It's another example of tinkering around the edges because even if the premises don’t have to apply for change of use, they still have to apply for a variety of other planning permission particularly to meet standards in terms of residential use for safety etc."


Source: RTE 21/01/2022

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