Ministers announce new ‘Ready to Build’ Scheme

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, have announced the ‘Ready to Build’ Scheme. The scheme, which will be funded under the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund, will see local authorities make available serviced sites in towns and villages across the country at discounted rates for individual purchasers who wish to build their own home.

Under the scheme, local authorities will make serviced sites (that is, sites with the necessary infrastructure such as electricity, water and wastewater) available in towns and villages to potential purchasers for the building by the purchaser of a principal private residence. The sites will be sold at a discounted rate of up to €30,000 from the market value. The discount will be determined by the cost of servicing the site.

Many areas in towns and villages of all sizes face the blight of vacant and undeveloped sites, which, if brought back into use, could add real vibrancy to those communities. The scheme fulfils a commitment in the government’s Housing for All plan, and supports the Our Rural Future policy and the recently published Town Centre First policy, which aims to tackle vacancy, combat dereliction and breathe new life into our town centres.

Announcing the new initiative, Minister O’Brien said:

“We know there is a great appetite out there for people to build their own homes in our many towns and villages. This scheme will provide many people with a real opportunity to do so. This initiative is among the suite of measures in Housing for All to make housing more affordable for people and to strengthen and diversify rural towns and villages so that they are a hub for local housing and employment growth. This new initiative will work hand-in-hand with the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, also funded by the Croí Conaithe (Towns) Fund, which aims to tackle vacancy and dereliction in our towns and villages by giving prospective homeowners a grant of up to €30,000 (€50,000 if derelict) for the refurbishment of a vacant property for occupation as a principal private residence.”

The Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke, added:

“This new Scheme will bring added vibrancy to towns and villages across the country where housing is needed. Not only does this policy support greater housing but, in line with the government’s Town Centre First policy, it will make towns and villages more viable and attractive places in which to live, work, visit and run a business.”

All available sites will be advertised on the relevant local authority’s website and on relevant local publications.

The application form, eligibility criteria and associated FAQs will provide additional information to people who would like to avail of the scheme. Further information will be available from the Vacant Homes Officer in each local authority.