The Croí Cónaithe scheme should be expanded to include properties that are refurbished for rental, Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon has said.
The current scheme offers a grant of up to €50,000 to refurbish vacant and derelict properties, but the person carrying out the refurbishment must be using the new home as their main residence.
Deputy Cannon said expanding the scheme to include rental properties would help more families and individuals to find homes.
The Fine Gael TD said he is receiving many enquiries from people who wish to refurbish vacant properties for rental, both in towns and rural locations.
Extending the Croí Cónaithe scheme would unlock the potential of thousands of vacant properties across the country, he said.
“Late last year I made the case that the Croí Cónaithe scheme should be extended to include rural areas and ultimately this change was made to the scheme.
“My suggestion at the time was based on the number of enquiries I was receiving from people who owned vacant buildings in rural East Galway and couldn’t understand why they were excluded from the scheme.”
Deputy Cannon said that he has no doubt but that there are many such property owners across the country, and that a grant of up to €50,000 would be the difference between leaving buildings vacant and derelict or returning them to use as family homes.
“All of us who travel through our local towns and villages see so many properties that have been boarded up for years. Why wouldn’t we use every lever available to us to bring them back into use?
“I’m engaging with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to make this suggestion to him, to make the grant available to anyone who wants to turn a vacant building into a home. That’s what we really need to work towards.”