Croí Cónaithe – Vacant Property Grant

A grant increase of €20,000 was announced on April 25th, 2023, to assist homebuyers in renovating unoccupied and derelict properties.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said on November 15, 2022, that the Cro Cónaithe programme would be expanded to cover all vacant and abandoned properties throughout cities, towns, villages, and rural areas.In the past, the inner cities of Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Limerick, as well as one-off farms in rural areas, were not eligible for the vacant property grant.

Since the scheme has been the subject of countless calls and emails since the news emerged, we have decided to put up a short guide to address all of your queries.

What is Croí Cónaithe?
The Cro Cónaithe (Towns) Fund is a novel programme designed to inspire homebuyers to acquire and restore existing structures so they can live there as their primary property. For abandoned properties, grants of up to €70,000 are available to help cover the shortfall in renovation costs.

The Cro Cónaithe (Towns) Fund’s Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant was introduced on July 14, 2022, and will help people who want to convert a once-vacant home or structure into their primary private home. The terms were extended on November 15th, 2022, and the payments were raised on April 25th, 2023.

What funding is available?
A grant of between €30k and €50k is offered for the renovation of a vacant building that will be used as the primary private residence. Within a 10-year window, clawback criteria are in effect.
If the property is structurally defective or unsafe, a grant of €50k–€70k may be provided for abandoned dwellings. If the property is not listed on the derelict site register, an independent report from an experienced professional is necessary.

What properties are eligible?

Properties that qualify must be;

Constructed before 2008 and

Vacant for at least two years

If a property is not listed on the derelict site register, an independent report from a competent professional declaring that the property is derelict is necessary.

How can I prove that the property is vacant?

What is accepted as Proof of vacancy ;

ESB Networks might be able to offer a letter stating that the electricity was turned off on X date or that the building has had minimal energy usage for X years.
The building has been vacant for X years, according to a letter from an estate agent on stationery with the company’s logo.
X years have passed since the former owners last resided at the property, according to a sworn solicitor’s affidavit from them.

Do I have to own the property to avail of the grant?

Supporting documentation for the grant application is needed.

If the applicant can demonstrate that there are ongoing discussions to buy a property (i.e., confirmation of engagement from the estate agent or owner of the property), the local government may approve the application in principle.

Note: No drawdown is permitted until the local government is satisfied that such ownership has been established.

What is accepted as evidence of ownership:

A title deed or other document demonstrating legal possession.
Showing proof of an active, paid building insurance policy.
Proof of Local Property Tax (LPT) payment.
A recent 12-month-dated mortgage statement.

I got approval for the grant before the increased amount that was announced July 25th, can I get the extra amount?

You may reapply for the larger amount if the approved grant amount has not yet been deducted from your account.

I purchased a vacant property before the scheme was launched on 14 July 2022, can I still apply for the grant?

You can, indeed. You will need to show that you are the property’s owner, that it has been vacant for at least two years, and that no construction has started on it. The funding can only be taken into consideration for proposed works that have been filed and authorised by the local government.

I am working on a new build where the property/site has been vacant while works are carried out. Can I qualify?

No, the grant is only available to help with the renovation of abandoned homes built before 1993 and unoccupied for two years or more. The funding is not available for new construction.

Can developers or investors who wish to refurbish a property to sell or rent apply for the grant?

Only those who want to rent the property out or live there as their primary private residence are eligible for this programme. You are only permitted to use this grant twice during your lifetime. If the property is being used as your primary private residence or if you are renting it out. The grant cannot be applied multiple times.

I already own a property which I do not intend to sell. Can I apply?

To qualify for this grant, you must be selling or have already sold your previous residence.

Who qualifies for the grant for the renovation of vacant property?

The goal of this award is home ownership. The programme is open to households or individuals who plan to utilise the home as their primary private residence.

Framework Priorities:

  1. Those who fall under the “Fresh Start” principle or are first-time buyers.
  2. Applicants with particular needs, such as those who are disabled or elderly and are relocating from their current residence (which they are selling or have already sold).
  3. Candidates who are selling or are in the process of selling their current residence.

What areas are included for this grant?

The grant levels have increased by €20,000 as of April 25th, 2023. This incentive is currently available to eligible empty properties in cities, towns, villages, and rural areas of the country as of November 15th, 2022.

I previously applied but my application was rejected because it didn’t meet the location requirements. Can I reapply?

Yes, all applications that had previously been refused will now be taken into account. Regarding this, speak with your local government.

We have a number of properties up for sale that qualify for this grant. Please contact us if you need further details.

See here for the most recent information on this grant.