Vacant Homes Schemes
Buy and Renew Scheme (BRS)
The Buy and Renew Scheme (BRS) supports local authorities in purchasing and renewing housing units in need of repair and makes them available for social housing use. It is a matter for each local authority to determine the suitability of a property for social housing; important considerations in that regard include the location of a property in relation to housing need and demand, the design/scale suitability of a property for social housing use and the costs and practicality of acquiring and remediating a property.
The Buy and Renew Scheme particularly focuses on older vacant homes to help tackle the problem of dereliction and improve the appearance of the community. As a complementary initiative to the Repair and Lease Scheme, it provides the option for suitable properties to be purchased rather than leased, if that is the preference of the owners of vacant properties.
Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS)
The Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS) is targeted at owners of vacant properties who cannot afford or access the funding needed to bring their properties up to the required standard for rental property. Subject to the suitability of the property for social housing, and the agreement of the property owner, the cost of the necessary repairs will be met upfront with a capital loan from the local authority or an approved housing body (AHB) up to a maximum of 40,000 euro (50,000 euro where the property is a former bedsit).
This allows the property owner to sign-up to a lease arrangement for a length that is linked to the value of the repairs, subject to a minimum of 5 years. The value of the repairs will then be offset incrementally against the agreed rental payment over a defined period within the lease.
Long Term Leasing Intiative
The Long Term Leasing Initiative allows owners of vacant properties that are in good condition to lease their properties to local authorities. Leasing under this Scheme takes the uncertainty out of being a landlord for terms of up to 25 years. It is also provides a guaranteed rental income of up 80%/85% of the market rent each month (depending on the property type), with no vacancies.
The Enhanced Long Term Leasing Scheme is also available for owners of 20 or more vacant properties, with rents set at up to 95% of the market rent, in exchange for additional property management services. Full details of the schemes are available from the relevant Vacant Homes Officer or the Housing Agency