Hardware sector launches empty homes and properties action plan

A major set of proposals aimed at bringing empty homes and properties back to life has been launched by Hardware Association Ireland.

The plan, ‘Empty Homes: Unlocking the Opportunity’ aims to alleviate the housing crisis by making renovating empty homes more affordable and bringing a large chunk of Ireland’s 167,000 empty homes back into use.

Excluding homes tied up in legal issues, homes in the Fair Deal Scheme and homes vacant before 2016, Hardware Association Ireland estimates that there are 34,000 empty homes that can be renovated for a reasonable price. The key aim of the plan is to encourage more empty homes to be brought back into use by making the process affordable for first time buyers.

In drafting their proposals, Hardware Association Ireland undertook extensive research involving county council vacant homes officers, builders, developers, tradespeople, builders merchants, materials suppliers and housing experts. The organisation also consulted closely with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, who achieved huge success with similar initiatives in Scotland.

The key proposals of Hardware Association’s plans include a range of measures including extending the help to buy scheme for people buying and renovating an empty property, grants and tax incentives for renovating and retrofitting empty homes, tax penalties for owners of derelict properties and help to convert derelict commercial units into homes.

Among the key proposals are:

Extending Help to Buy scheme to empty homes

Include renovation of vacant homes in our housing targets

A €50,000 Help to Buy and Renovate Scheme for first time buyers

A six percent annual Vacant Property Tax on vacant/derelict properties, to be enforced by the Revenue Commissioners

Zero interest loan of €60,000 to renovate homes

According to the Chief Executive of Hardware Association Ireland, Martin Markey, bringing empty homes back into use will help solve the housing crisis.

‘’Tackling the issue of vacant homes is urgently needed, not just to help solve the housing crisis but also to rejuvenate cities and towns all over Ireland. Our proposals are very much carrot and stick. We want to provide incentives for people to bring empty homes back into use and make keeping unused homes financially difficult. We have a vacancy rate of 8% in a housing crisis, and our cities and towns are being destroyed by row upon row of empty homes, so we hope the Government take on board our proposals.

‘’Renovating empty homes has the added benefit of affordability and they have much lower carbon emissions than building a new home. There are fewer planning complications and it can be done a lot quicker than new builds also. We have a huge stock of empty homes just waiting to be renovated, so it is a huge opportunity that we want to unlock,”

Hardware sector launches empty homes action plan

A major set of proposals aimed at bringing empty homes and properties back to life has been launched today (DATE ) by Hardware Association Ireland. The plan, ‘Empty Homes: Unlocking the Opportunity’ aims to alleviate the housing crisis by making renovating empty homes more affordable and bringing a large chunk of Ireland’s 167,000*[1] empty homes back into use.

Excluding homes tied up in legal issues, homes in the Fair Deal Scheme and homes vacant before 2016, Hardware Association Ireland estimates that there are 34,000 empty homes that can be renovated for a reasonable price. The key aim of the plan is to encourage more empty homes to be brought back into use by making the process affordable for first time buyers.

In drafting their proposals, Hardware Association Ireland undertook extensive research involving county council vacant homes officers, builders, developers, tradespeople, builders merchants, materials suppliers and housing experts. The organisation also consulted closely with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, who achieved huge success with similar initiatives in Scotland.

The key proposals of Hardware Association’s plans include a range of measures including extending the help to buy scheme for people buying and renovating an empty property, grants and tax incentives for renovating and retrofitting empty homes, tax penalties for owners of derelict properties and help to convert derelict commercial units into homes.

Among the key proposals are:

Extending Help to Buy scheme to empty homes

Include renovation of vacant homes in our housing targets

A €50,000 Help to Buy and Renovate Scheme for first time buyers

A 6% annual Vacant Property Tax on vacant/derelict properties, to be enforced by the Revenue Commissioners

Zero interest loan of €60,000 to renovate homes

 

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