Hardware Association Ireland Launch Findings of Empty Homes Study in Galway

Galway Daily news housing allocation scheme Gaeltacht

The Hardware Association Ireland has launched the findings of its recent study into the huge potential of empty homes across Ireland.

Galway has a large number of properties in need of renovation and improvement at 22%.

With a backlog in demand for housing at 95,000 units and the average price of a new build at €400,000 and rising, interest and momentum is building amongst the public to rejuvenate empty homes as part of a solution to the housing crisis.

Rejuvenating empty homes has the potential to unlock at least 40,000 homes.

Based on CSO figures the study compares the number of newly built homes per county in 2023 with the applications for the vacant homes grant now at 7,000+. In 2024, rejuvenated empty homes will be the largest type of new homes in 11 counties.

The study illustrates the success of the incentives and the need to accelerate and support the vacant homes process across the country to satisfy the urgent need to make homes available.

The Association strongly recommends implementing an urgent strategy to immediately transform the large number of empty dwellings across Ireland. These properties can provide at least 40,000 homes within a short period of time.

Areas that make up the largest potential include Roscommon, Leitrim (both 54%), Longford (47%), Sligo (47%), Donegal (46%), Cavan (44%), Clare (41%), Mayo (41%) and Tipperary (40%).

Commenting on this, Chief Executive Officer of Hardware Association Ireland Martin Markey said “The vacant homes strategy is working and the opportunity to unlock at least 40,000 empty homes quickly has huge potential to energise and invigorate communities across Ireland”.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has only received 7,000+ applications with approval granted to 4,500 owners. There is a €70,000 grant available for buyers of a derelict home and a €50,000 grant to buyers of vacant homes.

A new initiative from the Department allows buyers to combine these grants with an SEAI grant bringing the potential total in grants to €95,000 and €75,000.

Hardware Association Ireland is the representative body for Irish hardware and DIY retailers, builders’ merchants, distributers, and manufacturers. It represents over 400 members nationwide and 26,000 staff in the sector.