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Vacant Homes

The Vacant Homes Scheme is an initiative aimed at bringing vacant homes back into use as social housing for those in need.  The scheme offers financial assistance to property owners who renovate their vacant homes for use as social housing, and local authorities can acquire the properties for social housing purposes.


In August 2017, the then Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, announced a number of key actions already being taken by his Department and local authorities to quickly progress the delivery of vacant homes back into use as soon as possible.

This was done in advance of the Vacant Homes Strategy announced in September 2017.

A website ( has been developed by Mayo County Council on behalf of the local government sector, as a central portal for individuals to anonymously log possible vacant properties and alert local authorities who can then follow up with the owners to see whether the house can be re-used quickly. The website also provides some useful information for property owners as to what steps are currently needed, and how, to bring their house back into use.

We encourage citizens in Waterford to make use of this facility and to report vacant properties to us.

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant / Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund

It was announced by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien T.D. that the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant was extended to eligible vacant properties in both cities and rural areas to ensure the existing housing stock is being used to the fullest extent possible.

A grant of up to a maximum of €50,000 is available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence or as a rental property including the conversion of a property which has not been used as residential heretofore. This is subject to upper limits for the types of work specified below having regard to a reasonable cost assessment by the local authority.

All queries in relation to the scheme to be sent to:    Application forms are available below.

Where the refurbishment costs are expected to exceed the standard grant of up to €50,000, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be available where the property is confirmed by the applicant to be derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous) bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €70,000. In the case of a top-up grant in respect of a derelict property, an independent report prepared by an appropriately qualified professional (e.g. quantity surveyor, engineer etc.) is required to be submitted along with the application confirming that the property is derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous).

Those applying for the grant will be required to indicate on the application form to confirm if they are applying for the vacant property refurbishment grant alone or the vacant property refurbishment grant including the derelict property top-up grant and will also be required to indicate if the property is intended to be the principal private residence of the applicant or a rental property.

Properties considered for inclusion must be vacant for two years or more and built before 2007. For the purposes of this scheme, a property is deemed to be vacant if it has been vacant and unoccupied for a period of two years or more. Confirmation of vacancy can be validated and verified by the use of, for example, Utility Bills which can help determine vacancy periods (e.g. pattern of usage or disconnection) or such other proofs as are available to the satisfaction of the local authority. Confirmation of vacancy must be validated and verified by the local authority prior to grant approval.

An SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme Grant may be available in combination with this grant. Works covered by SEAI Better Energy Homes Scheme will therefore not be covered. The local authority must satisfy themselves that proposed works are not claimed for under any other grant.

Proof of both vacancy and ownership will be required to support the grant payment. In terms of ownership, it is a matter for the applicant to confirm ownership with the local authority.