Grants of up to €50,000 for homeowners of vacant and derelict properties have been extended to rural areas and so will be available in all areas of Kildare under the Croí Conaithe Towns scheme, which was first launched in July, according to Minister Martin Heydon.

Minister Heydon said, “This expansion is very welcome news for those in Kildare and one which was called for by me and my Fine Gael colleagues. Grants for property owners can be applied for through Kildare County Council with €30,000 being the maximum offered for properties which have been vacant for over two years, and €50,000 for derelict properties which may be structurally unsound.

“My colleague, Minister Peter Burke, has launched the expanded Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, so that even more vacant and derelict properties in Kildare can be brought back into residential use. Furthermore, it will help to ensure that our existing housing stock can be best utilised to provide more homes for people in Kildare.

“The grants can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750. They are available to individuals and families who will use the property as their primary dwelling and is another measure being employed to support home ownership and provide more homes for our citizens.

“The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant will work alongside other key Fine Gael policies such as Town Centre First and Our Rural Future, helping revitalise our communities while providing more people in Kildare with the opportunity to own their own home.

“The scheme also promotes sustainability as we know the most efficient home is the one that is already built, limiting emissions from construction, while improving the look of our rural countryside, villages, towns and now cities in Kildare” Minister Heydon concluded.