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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 7°C
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Councils identify over 1,500 vacant and derelict properties to be bought up

The price tag of the properties comes in at €437 million.

OVER 1,500 vacant and derelict properties have been identified by local authorities for purchase, with a price tag of €437 million. 

Each local authority has submitted a list of properties to the Department of Housing that they deem suitable for purchase. 

The intention is that properties acquired by local authorities will be offered for sale on the open market to individuals who commit to return the properties to use within agreed timelines.

Local authorities will target the acquisition of properties vacant for more than two years, and derelict properties, to mitigate against property price inflation, it is understood. 

In total local authorities have identified 1,546 properties.

Cabinet today approved changes to the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund which will see councils getting 100% of their costs reimbursed to buy up the properties. 

Currently, councils can have 75% of the costs reimbursed by government. 

The third round of funding support through the scheme will be specifically designed to address long-term vacancy and dereliction. 

The fund is used to target regeneration and rejuvenation projects in Ireland’s five cities and other large towns. 

However, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien also got approval to add towns with a population of 10,000, or at least 2,500 jobs in the area, to the third funding call of programme.

The aim of the fund is to provide greater residential development within the existing footprints of our cities and towns. 

It was launched as part of the last National Development Plan, with an initial investment of €2 billion for the period 2018 – 2027, but this was extended to 2030.

The fund will be available to cover the acquisition costs of a property and also any civil or design works which may be required to de-risk or improve the building to make it more attractive for reuse, development by others or onward sale.

The intention is that the fund would be replenished from the proceeds received from the end use/user, thereby allowing the local authority to put in place a rolling programme to tackle long term vacancy and dereliction without recourse to borrowing and the associated financial risk.

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