Free loans on offer to repair and lease empty homes

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THE OWNERS of empty houses and apartments in Limerick will now have access to up to €40,000 in interest free loans to repair the property and then rent it to the local authority.

The government has announced an enhanced ‘Repair and Lease Scheme’ where funding will be provided to bring vacant properties up to the standard for renting and they will then be leased by the local authority for use as social housing.

The scheme is targeted at owners of vacant properties who cannot afford or access the funding required to bring them up to the approved standards.

Provided the property is suitable, the cost of the necessary repairs will be met upfront by the local authority or an Approved Housing Body (AHB). Financing is made available by way of an interest free loan to a maximum of €40,000.

Among the changes the government has made include a reduction in the minimum lease term required from 10 to 5 years, increasing the proportion of market rent/ rent payments available to property owners, and provision of additional funding for property owners, over and above the current €40,000 limit, where the dwelling is a bedsit type dwelling being brought into compliance with the Standards for Rented Houses Regulations and made available for social housing.

It is a requirement that houses or apartments have been vacant for at least one year. For more information, contact Limerick City and County Council on or telephone 061 556393 or 061 557140 or you can check out or

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