Cork County Council are to bring more than 200 homes back into use over the next five years through a repair and lease programme.
The authority’s senior planner Seamus DeFaoite said the scheme is targeted at owners of vacant properties, who cannot afford to bring them up to the required standard for rental.
The initiative provides homeowners an interest free loan of up to €40,000 to carry out repairs allowing it to be rented to an applicant on the authority’s approved housing waiting list.
It’s believed there are over 180,000 vacant units nationally. The scheme forms part of the Government’s ‘Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan’ for housing and homelessness.
To qualify for the finance properties have to be vacant for at least twelve months and there has to be a social demand for the property.
Mr DeFaoite said there were a number of advantages to the scheme “to deliver social housing quickly while contributing to urban village and rural renewal.”
He said the benefits to the property owner include guaranteed rental income for up to 20 years and the authority would deal with the property’s internal day to day maintenance and repair.
The minimum lease period is 10 years.
Once a schedule of works is drawn up the property owner must obtain two detailed quotes from a registered contractor.
Following payment on completion of works the authority enter into a lease agreement with the property owner.
The property owner can sell the property during the lease period, however the lease agreement must be transferred to the new owner.
Throughout the lease period the property owner will retain the responsibility to pay structural insurance and property tax in addition to structural maintenance and repairs.
Inquiries about the scheme can be made by emailing repairandleasing@corkcoco.ie or by calling 022/30476 or 022/30492.

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