Local authority loan to be available for derelict homes under Government plans

A State-backed mortgage loan will be made available for people looking to renovate derelict properties under plans due before Cabinet on Tuesday.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will bring a series of memos to Cabinet including updates on the Coalition’s flagship Housing For All plan.

Under new plans targeting the issue of vacancy around the country, Mr O’Brien will seek approval for the extension of the Local Authority Home Loan to people seeking to finance the purchase and renovation of derelict or non-habitable properties.

The Local Authority Home Loan is a Government-backed mortgage for first-time buyers who cannot get funding from commercial banks to purchase or build a home. The loan can be used for new and second-hand properties, or to self-build.

At present, the loan is only given out to buy habitable properties. Under Mr O’Brien’s memo, the loan will be extended to cover the purchase or renovation of derelict homes that may be eligible for the derelict property grant.

It is understood that it will take a number of months to extend the loan and the Government is aiming to have the product ready by next summer. It comes after Revenue identified some 25,000 homes that could be subject to Vacant Homes Tax (VHT), using electricity readings from ESB as one method of gathering data. The VHT is a new annual tax introduced in 2023 that seeks to encourage the return of vacant properties into the housing market.

Mr O’Brien will also tell Cabinet that he intends to double the target for vacancy grants from 2,000 to 4,000 homes. The Government is currently offering up to €50,000 to renovate a vacant property and up to €70,000 if the property is derelict.

Demand for these grants has been stronger than expected, Mr O’Brien will tell Cabinet, with more than 5,100 applications made so far to local

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