Grants of up to €50,000 for homeowners of vacant and derelict properties have been extended to both rural areas and cities and will be available under the Croí Conaithe Towns scheme.
Deputy Charlie Flanagan has confirmed the scheme, first launched in July to towns and villages, has been expanded so that all areas of the county, in Laois, are within the scope of the scheme.
Charlie Flanagan said: “This expansion is very welcome news for those in Laois and one which I called for along with my Fine Gael colleagues.
“Grants for property owners are available to apply for from Laois County Council with €30,000 being the maximum offered for properties which have been vacant for over two years, and €50,000 for derelict properties which may be structurally unsound.
“The expanded Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant means that even more vacant and derelict properties in Laois can be brought back into residential use.
“Furthermore, our existing housing stock can be best utilised to provide more homes for people in Laois.
“The grants can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750.
“They are available to individuals and families who will use the property as their primary dwelling and is another measure being employed to support home ownership and provide more homes for our citizens.
“Fine Gael want to use our experience and energy to help people through this difficult time and are taking further action on housing to ensure that people in their twenties and thirties have the chance to own their own home,” said Flanagan.
Commenting on the launch, Fine Gael Flanagan said that the scheme was a much-needed practical measure.
Flanagan said: “The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant will work alongside other key Fine Gael policies such as Town Centre First and Our Rural Future, helping revitalise our communities while providing more people with the opportunity to own their own home.
“The Department is working with Laois County Council to ensure they are equipped to administer the scheme and help focus on bringing our vacant stock back into productive use.
“The scheme also promotes sustainability as we know the most efficient home is the one that is already built, limiting emissions from construction, while improving the look of our rural countryside, villages, towns and now cities,” concluded Deputy Flanagan.
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