The owners of long-term empty properties in Cork are being urged to take up the government’s Repair and Leasing Scheme.
Homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust signed up the first property inn Cork this month under the scheme and said they hope to sign up many more.
Trust spokesperson Francis Doherty said: “We are delighted that we have been able to secure the first Repair and Leasing property in Cork City. The Repair and Leasing scheme is open to people that have a property that has been vacant for more than one year and needs to be upgraded or refurbished in order to comply with new rental standards.”
“People can benefit from an interest-free loan, of €40,000 to €50,000, to cover the cost of works. The scheme means that in most cases the cost of the works is initially paid upfront by Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), like Peter McVerry Trust, who can also arrange the contractor and manage and support the future tenants. For the property owner, they get their property upgraded, a guaranteed long term rental income and the cost of the interest-free loan is simply deducted from the rent over a time period of 10 to 20 years."
“We are hoping that by showcasing what can be achieved through this first Repair and Leasing property in Cork that more people will come forward. The refurbishment works have just started and our aim is to have tenants in place before the end of the year. The new tenants will be coming from Cork City Council’s housing waiting list.”
Mr Doherty also pointed out that owners of vacant or derelict properties can also sell their properties to the charity if they don’t want to lease them.
“We find that some owners simply want to sell the property but given its condition, it’s not of interest to first time buyers or investors. However, for Peter McVerry Trust we can draw down government funds to refurbish the buildings and put them back into use as social housing.”