Cribbin welcomes government initiatives to fund repairs of vacant houses

Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD.

Cribbin welcomes Coveney's plans

Offaly County Councillor for the Offaly area, Noel Cribbin, has warmly welcomed what he describes as a "common sense initiative" announced by the Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, to bring back into use "the thousands of vacant homes all around the country."

On Thursday, the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, Simon Coveney, announced that the pilot scheme that targets vacant properties and secures them for social housing, by financing the cost of repairs, is to be rolled out on a national basis. An additional €26m is being provided to fund the scheme in 2017, bringing the total amount of investment available this year to €32m. This additional funding will mean that up to 800 vacant properties can be brought back into use as new homes for families on local authority waiting lists, the Minister revealed.

"Indeed I suggested this very idea at several meetings," Noel Cribbin said. "This Repair and Leasing scheme, as it is called, will allow the local authorities to spend a maximum of €40,000 on repairing a home on behalf of the owner and an agreement is being drawn up so that the cost of the repair will be subsequently taken out of the rent over 10 years to repay the council," he added.

"They can then house families on their housing list into those refurbished houses. There are vacant houses in every town and village in Ireland and it's no different in Edenderry, with scores of empty houses, and I appeal again to the owners and families of these vacant homes to consider this brilliant initiative and get your property upgraded by up to €40,000. The council will get your home rented at the going rate to one of the 200 families that's on the housing list for Edenderry alone. This initiative is a win-win for all involved," Cllr Cribbin continued.

The Repair and Leasing Scheme is one of a number of initiatives in 'Rebuilding Ireland,' the plan announced by Simon Coveney late last year to address vacant properties around the country. Other initiatives include the Buy and Renew Scheme which provides funding for local authorities to purchase vacant properties and remediate them and a new National Vacant Housing Re-Use Strategy which is currently being finalised.

Property owners interested in the scheme should contact their local authority directly and register their interest.

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