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Phased payments could transform the Croí Cónaithe Scheme for prospective homebuyers – Byrne

29th February 2024 - Senator Maria Byrne

The implementation of a phased payment system for the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund Scheme could greatly benefit prospective homeowners, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

The Croí Cónaithe Towns Fund Scheme grants up to €50,000 to renovate a vacant property and up to €70,000 if the property is derelict, so that it can be used as a primary residence or to rent the property out. As it stands, prospective purchasers need access to funding at the starting point of purchase and refurbishment.

Senator Maria Byrne said: “The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is a payment available if you are turning a vacant house or building into your permanent home, or to make it available to rent. However, the current method of disbursing the grant only after renovations are complete poses a considerable challenge for many.

“Recognising the urgency of this issue, I raised a commencement matter on this topic, highlighting the necessity for a more accessible and supportive funding structure for prospective homeowners and renovators. A comprehensive review and evaluation of the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund Scheme is currently underway and is expected to be completed by mid-2024. This review will critically inform the further development of the scheme.

“The introduction of a phased payment structure, mirroring the common practice in domestic construction where payments are released following each stage of work upon inspection, could address this barrier effectively. Such a system would not only ensure the efficient use of state funds but also offer immense relief to applicants of the scheme and future homeowners by alleviating the financial burdens of upfront costs.

“By facilitating payments in instalments, we can eliminate the need for temporary financial solutions, such as dipping into savings or borrowing from credit unions or family, which applicants currently resort to with the intent to repay upon receiving the grant in full. Implementing staged payments would significantly reduce this stress.

It’s clear that adopting a staged payment approach should form a key part of the scheme’s upcoming redevelopment. Ultimately, by enhancing the accessibility and viability of the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund Scheme, we can more effectively continue boosting access to housing and breathe new life into our communities.” Senator Byrne concluded.


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