Almost €700,000 paid out in vacant homes grants in Donegal

By Darragh Bermingham

ALMOST €700,000 has been paid out in Vacant Property Refurbishment Grants in Donegal to date, this newspaper can reveal.

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant provides funding to allow people to refurbish vacant and derelict homes.


It can also be used to renovate vacant and derelict properties that have not been used as residential properties before.

People can obtain a grant of up to €50,000 to renovate a vacant property and up to €70,000, if the property is derelict.

The grant is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage through the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund and people apply to their local authority.

Information obtained from Donegal County Council revealed that the council has processed more than 700 applications for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, with almost €700,000 paid out as a result.

A spokesperson for Donegal County Council said: “The council is administering the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant scheme with over 725 applications processed to date and grants to the value of €691,322 paid out.

“The scheme is being actively promoted with 36 public drop-in information events held throughout the county since September 2023 with over 2,000 in attendance at these events. The council is also undertaking surveys of vacant and/or derelict properties in all settlements in the county to identify and engage with the owners on the supports available to bring the property back into use,” the spokesperson added.

“Surveys have been completed in 19 settlements to date and engagement with owners is ongoing.


“The council was successful in securing €4m under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund to acquire long term vacant properties in

Letterkenny town centre for onward activation and work on this project is ongoing at pace.

“The council has legislative powers to acquire properties through compulsory purchase order and to include properties on a Derelict Site Register which attracts an annual levy.”

Donegal County Council also revealed that, in 2023, the local authority received 544 applications for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.

Some 307 applications were finalised and 288 approved in the same period. Nineteen were deemed ineligible in 2023, 16 were withdrawn by the applicant and 221 were in progress at the end of the year.

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