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Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant approval rate increase

7,366 applications have been received for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant Scheme since its launch in 2022, the most recent figures by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage show.

Of the total applications, 3,937 were made to the applications for Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant and 3,415 applications were made for the Derelict Property Top-up Grant stream of this scheme.

In total, 4,278 total Vacant Property Refurbishment Grants were approved from its launch to 31 March 2024.

Applications per local authority

From 2022 to Q1 2024, Donegal County Council had the highest number of applications among the 31 local authorities, with over 668 applications received. Of those applications, 413 had been approved as of 31 March 2024.

However, per county, Dublin had the highest number of applications – with 1,196 applications received in its four local authorities combined.

Additionally, Cork County Council received the highest number of applications approvals per local council, with 404 properties being granted permission to date.

Mayo County Council had the second highest number of applications to a single authority, with 454 applications received and 287 approved.

There were 395 applications made to Kerry County Council, and with 113 approved, the rate of applications approved equated to approximately 29 per cent.

This represents the lowest approval rate of any local authority within the first quarter of 2024.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown obtained the highest approval rate of 90 per cent, with 155 applications received and 139 approved. This was followed by Kildare County Council, which granted 76 per cent of application approvals.

Furthermore, Galway City Council had the lowest number of applications at 54 by the 31 March 2024, of which 38 were approved.

Vacancy applications per quarter

On a broader scale, 1,455 applications were recieved in Q2 2023, the highest amount since the grant’s launch. Despite this, the quarter which received the greatest number of approvals took place during Q4 2023, with 1,180 applications granted permission.

Reflecting on the most recent quarterly figures, Q1 2024 received 1,257 applications and granted permission to 953 properties, suggesting that momentum is needed to continue to increase numbers within vacant properties on a national basis.

What is the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant?

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is a payment to help refurbish a vacant house or building into a permanent home or rental property.

Launched in July 2022, a grant of €50,000 is available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence or to be made available for rent. Where a property is derelict, a top up grant of €20,000 is available, bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to €70,000.