Government introduces €150m Fund to end long-term vacancy & dereliction in towns & cities

Government introduces €150m Fund to end long-term vacancy & dereliction in towns & cities

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Ministers Eamon Ryan and Darragh O’Brien have today announced details of a €150 million fund to end long-term vacancy and dereliction in towns and cities.

  • New commitment on widespread adoption of Modern Methods of Construction in public housing 
  • Strong progress this year with building started on 13,000 new homes & record numbers achieving home ownership, boosted by schemes like Help to Buy and First Home 

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Ministers Eamon Ryan and Darragh O’Brien have today announced details of a €150 million fund to end long-term vacancy and dereliction in towns and cities. The fund can transform locations across the country and promote vibrant communities in our urban centres. 

Announced as part of the quarterly Housing for All progress update, the funding will be available to local authorities for towns and cities eligible for the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF). Local authorities, when applying for the funding, have indicated that they could identify projects generating 4,850 residential units. Local authorities will receive a grant for the entire 100% cost of acquiring suitable properties identified within their communities, reflecting the high priority the Government has placed on boosting accommodation and tackling dereliction It complements several existing schemes to tackle vacancy and dereliction.  

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister Ryan and Minister O’Brien also signalled their commitment to boost innovation and capacity in the construction sector, by publishing a Roadmap for Increased Adoption of Modern Methods of Construction in Public Housing Delivery. Modern Methods of Construction have the potential to dramatically improve construction sector productivity, innovation, speed of delivery, sustainability and ultimately costs. The State is leading by example in embedding these innovative methods into its public housing programme. 

The quarterly review shows good ongoing momentum this year with work starting on 13,000 new homes since January, and record numbers buying their own home, boosted by schemes like Help to Buy & First Home. In Q2 planning permission was approved for over 2,500 homes on State Lands, €104 million in funding allocated to build 853 social and affordable homes at Oscar Traynor Road, and €62 million in funding allocated for more than 1,000 student accommodation beds. The first contract was signed under the Croí Cónaithe (Cities) Scheme to activate building of homes for owner-occupiers. A review of the National Planning Framework has started, along with a public consultation on the future of the Rental Sector in Ireland and the development of a new Action Plan to promote careers in construction. 

Commenting on the publication of the report, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD said: 

“At the half-way point of the year, building has started on almost 13,000 homes and we have strong momentum heading into the rest of the year. We are confident we will meet or exceed our house targets for the next year of 29,000 homes, student accommodation and refurbishments. Planning permissions granted in quarter 1 were 40% higher than the same period last year, and more people are buying their first home than in any period in well over a decade. Over 700 first-time buyers are being approved for mortgages every week. This is the highest figure since records began. 

“We are building more social housing than any year since 1975. In the second quarter of the year, we have approved €100 million in funding to build over 800 social and affordable homes at Oscar Traynor Road, Dublin, secured planning permission for over 2,500 homes to be built by the LDA on State Lands, and allocated €60 million in funding for over 1,000 student apartments. 

“Today we are announcing a €150 million fund to breathe new life into our towns and cities. This initiative builds on the actions we have already. Focusing on dereliction and vacancy makes sense. It has a unique ability to rejuvenate communities in our villages, towns and cities. And with this fund, we now have a comprehensive set of measures in place to make sure that everyone – individual buyers, developers and local authorities – have a really good incentive to bring disused properties back into use.” 

The Tánaiste, Micheál Martin said:

“When it comes to housing, supply, supply, supply is the answer, and we need more supply of every type of housing. Despite the challenges, we are making real progress under Housing for All and building more social, affordable and cost rental homes. 

To further increase the supply of new homes we need a strong labour force, and we have developed a new Action Plan to promote construction as an attractive career for young people, and to ensure increased capability and capacity in our construction sector.” 

The Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said:

“The adoption of Modern Methods of Construction has the potential to significantly improve construction sector productivity and sustainability while also reducing costs. The ‘Roadmap for increased MMC adoption in Public Housing Delivery’ represents a major public sector innovation and transformative initiative that will enable an increase in procurement of new homes using MMC. It will complement the output of the forthcoming Timber in Construction Working Group so that we can build sustainable housing at a lower cost using home-grown materials." 

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD added:

“Today we are announcing a  €150m revolving fund to specifically tackle long term vacancy and dereliction within towns and cities. This fund will help restore the urban heart of many of our communities, provide more homes where people can live close to local services, amenities and employment and, indeed, has the potential to be truly transformative. 

This Government has consistently said we will use every tool in our armory to get to grips with our housing challenges and that is exactly what we are doing. Through this fund we will increase the pace at which vacant and derelict buildings are brought back into productive use as new homes for people." 

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD said:

“To accelerate residential construction it is our job to ensure that we provide training programmes and courses to meet demands, creating a rich, diverse and highly skilled talent pool. Areas such as MMC are being promoted and advanced, and our workforce is developing skills and knowledge around sustainability and environmental consciousness. Last week I announced the National Construction Training Campus in Mount Lucas has developed and modernised a range of new construction programmes to further enhance provision.”  

The Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD said:  

“Today we are also publishing a ‘Roadmap for increased adoption of Modern Methods of Construction in Public Housing delivery’. This Roadmap represents the Government’s commitment to access the most advanced construction methods to deliver new housing more efficiently, more sustainably and with enhanced affordability. I look forward to working across Government, and the construction industry, to develop the ecosystem for MMC to thrive.” 

Local AuthorityFunding Allocation
Carlow County Council €1,500,000
Cavan County Council €3,500,000
Clare County Council €2,500,000
Cork City Council €6,000,000
Cork County Council €5,000,000
Donegal County Council €4,000,000
Dublin City Council €10,000,000
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council €6,000,000
Fingal County Council €7,000,000
Galway City Council €3,000,000
Galway County Council €2,000,000
Kerry County Council €2,500,000
Kildare County Council €4,000,000
Kilkenny County Council €6,000,000
Laois County Council €2,000,000
Leitrim County Council €1,000,000
Limerick City and County Council €9,000,000
Longford County Council €1,500,000
Louth County Council €7,000,000
Mayo County Council €2,000,000
Meath County Council €6,500,000
Monaghan County Council €1,500,000
Offaly County Council €2,000,000
Roscommon County Council €1,000,000
Sligo County Council €2,000,000
South Dublin County Council €6,000,000
Tipperary County Council €5,000,000
Waterford City and County Council €9,000,000
Westmeath County Council €2,500,000
Wexford County Council €6,500,000
Wicklow County Council €2,500,000
Total 130,000,000  *

*A further €20m of the €150m fund has been held back at this time to ensure funding is available for additional towns which are expected to enter the URDF programme when the necessary CSO population and employment data is published later this year.

Housing for All

‘Housing for All’ is the Government’s housing plan for Ireland to 2030. It can be read at The plan’s overall objective is: ‘Everyone in the State should have access to a home to purchase or rent at an affordable price, built to a high standard and in the right place, offering a high quality of life.’ 

Housing for All plan
The Housing for All – Q2 2023 Progress Report and Quarterly Statistics Report
Roadmap for Increased Adoption of Modern Methods of Construction in Public Housing Delivery
The Modern Methods of Construction Introductory Guide