Mayo people renovating derelict homes facing grants anomaly

A Mayo Oireachtas members has cited a problem with Croí Cónaithe scheme through which a person can get a grant of €50,000 to do up an old or derelict house and get a €20,000 top-up.

Senator Paddy Burke elaborated: "There is an anomaly in that scheme in that if somebody is applying for a loan, there is a stand-off at the moment with the local authorities that are implementing the scheme and grant on behalf of the government and the financial institutions.

"It is a shame that things are being held up. At least two people whose applications are being held up have contacted me.

"They try to get contractors or workers and tradespeople in place to carry out the work and do not know where they are going.

"The problem with the scheme is that the department and banking institutions have not reached agreement on how it will operate.

"Seemingly, there is a claw back on the grant if a person sells the property before ten years have passed.

"It is maybe 50% after five years and a percentage every year after that until the ten-year period is up.

"The Minister for Housing will have to intervene in this regard.

"I have no doubt that the minister does not know anything about what is happening with this aspect of the scheme. He brought forward the scheme in good faith, and it is a great scheme."