Saturday 18 November 2017

Coveney's plan to put 800 vacant homes into use

Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A State scheme that offers owners of vacant properties up-front payments to bring them back into use is to be rolled out nationwide.

As much as €40,000 will be provided to bring properties up to a certain standard so that they can be rented to those on social housing waiting lists or other assistance payments.

To date, the so-called 'Repair and Lease' scheme has been confined on a pilot basis to counties Carlow and Waterford.

Some 59 properties are already in train in these two counties.

But Housing Minister Simon Coveney will today announce the rollout of the scheme on a national basis in a move he says will bring 800 vacant properties back into use.

Additional funding of €32m is being provided to support the rollout of the plan.

"Property owners see the opportunity the scheme presents for them - upfront financing of the cost of repairs - in fact they need not even get involved in arranging the works, and a secure and reliable income from regular rental payments, without having to take on landlord responsibilities," Mr Coveney said last night.

Over the coming weeks, the Department of Housing will work with local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to ensure the implementation of the scheme.

The scheme will be particularly appealing to people who cannot access the necessary finance through other means to renovate the properties.

A property owner can either choose to arrange a contractor to carry out the repairs, or the local authority or AHB can arrange this instead.

The property owner will have no role in managing the property, which will be handled by the local authority or AHB, which will also ensure it is maintained.

Irish Independent

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