Monday 18 December 2017

The Budget measure that may change our cities for the better

Georgian properties were aomong those excluded from the Living City Initiative is a scheme. (Stock photo: Damien Eagers)
Georgian properties were aomong those excluded from the Living City Initiative is a scheme. (Stock photo: Damien Eagers)

Ronan Lyons

When it comes to housing, much of the focus of Budget analysis and discussion has been on the first-time buyer tax rebate. While this is understandable, another change may well prove to be the game-changer when it comes to boosting housing supply.

The Living City Initiative is a scheme that has been going for over a year now, with the aim of regenerating historic parts of Ireland's cities. It works by designating some areas in central cities as Special Regeneration Areas (SRAs). The cities covered include Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Kilkenny.

The original scheme was very restrictive. Properties had to be smaller than a certain size and not just old - but old residential dwellings. In addition, the applicant had to be an owner-occupier. If those conditions were met, the tax relief was very generous: 10pc of the expenditure back in tax credits each year for 10 years.

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