The new Vacant Homes Action Plan is a win-win-win with measures to provide homes for people who need them, revitalise towns, and bring new life to rural communities.
I am particularly pleased to welcome the public awareness campaign that accompanies today’s announcement. I have been providing information on supports to renovate vacant and derelict properties for some time and am aware of the immense appetite that exists from the public.
In particular, I want to highlight the changes to the Nursing Home Support Scheme, or Fair Deal: Under changes brought in by this Government, a home vacated by a person entering residential care can be sold and the proceeds from the sale treated in a similar way to if it was still their home. This removes any disincentive for people who want to sell a home left vacant after they enter residential care and the cap from contributions based on the value of a principal residence has been extended. We need this information to be widely known.
This change to the Fair Deal scheme is only one of many ways this Government is incentivising the renovation and occupation of vacant houses. This has been Green Party policy for many years as it makes sense from a social and an environmental perspective. It provides much needed homes which are often in the center of towns and villages, revitalises these communities, increases footfall including at night and reduces car dependency. Existing properties have embodied carbon and as we move to a more circular economy the reuse and repurposing of existing infrastructure will become ever more important. This is truly a win-win-win announcement for people, places and planet.
For more information please see gov.ie - Minister O’Brien launches new Vacant Homes Action Plan and details of new €150 million URDF vacancy fund (www.gov.ie)
Campaign website gov.ie - Refurbishing Vacant Property (www.gov.ie)