First Home Scheme
The First Home Scheme (FHS) is a shared equity scheme, designed to help bridge the gap for first-time buyers and eligible homebuyers between their deposit and mortgage, and the price of their new home. It is available for newly built houses or apartments in a private development in the Republic of Ireland. The Scheme provides homebuyers with what is known as an equity facility. This means that homebuyers will enter into a contract with the FHS and receive funds from the Scheme in return for the FHS taking a percentage ownership in the property purchased.
The First Home Scheme is open for applications. For more information on the scheme and how to apply, please visit firsthomescheme.ie.
Local Authority Home Loan
The Local Authority Home Loan is a government-backed mortgage for first-time buyers or Fresh Start applicants. It is available nationwide from all local authorities for those on modest or low incomes who cannot get sufficient funding from regulated financial providers to purchase or build a home. Eligible First-Time buyers can apply for a Local Authority Home Loan to purchase a new or second-hand property, or to build their own home.
A "Fresh Start" principle applies to the Local Authority Home Loan Scheme. This means that people who are divorced or separated and have no interest in the family home, or who have undergone insolvency proceedings, are eligible to apply under this Scheme. It is available nationwide from all local authorities.
Help to Buy Scheme
The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme is an incentive for First-Time buyers to help with their deposit for purchasing or self-building a new home. Those availing of the scheme must purchase or self-build the property to live in as their home. Those who meet the required conditions will receive a refund of Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) paid in Ireland. The refund will be from the four tax years prior to when the person made their application.
Under changes made to the scheme in 2020, the maximum payment is €30,000 under the enhanced relief. The cap applies per property rather than per applicant regardless of how many people enter a contract.
Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant
The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is a scheme to support the sustainable reuse of vacant properties. Funded by the Croí Cónaithe Towns Fund, the scheme is helping to bring vacant and underused buildings back into residential use and is ensuring that existing housing stock is being used to the fullest extent possible. It is also providing new choices for people to live in all cities, towns, villages and rural areas in Ireland, supporting their future growth and development.
Two types of grant exist:
- Vacant properties: a grant of up to a maximum of €50,000 is available for the refurbishment of a vacant property into a principal private residence or to be made available for rent, including the conversion of a property that has not been used for residential purposes before. The property must be vacant for two years or more and be built before 2008.
- Derelict properties: a maximum of €70,000 is available for the refurbishment of a derelict property. For a property to be deemed derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous), the applicant must confirm this by submitting an independent report prepared by an appropriately qualified professional along with the application form. The property can also be deemed derelict if it is on the local authority's Derelict Sites Register. Evidence that the property was built before 2008 and that it is vacant for two years or more will also be required.
The grant is inclusive of the VAT cost of the works. Local authorities administer the scheme.
A Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Better Energy Home Scheme Grant may be available in combination with this grant. More information can be found on sseairtricity.com. For further information contact your local authority and request to speak to the Vacant Homes Officer.
Ready to Build Scheme
Under the Ready to Build Scheme, local authorities will make serviced sites in towns and villages available to potential individual purchasers (self-builders). These sites will be available at a discount on the market value of the site. They will be sold for the building of a property for occupation as the principal private residence of the purchaser.
The level of discount to the individual will depend on the level of servicing cost incurred by the local authority before the sale of the site. The discount will not exceed €30,000. The amount of such discount will be reflected in the sale price of the site to the purchaser.
For more information on the Ready to Build Scheme please visit gov.ie or contact the Vacant Homes Officer in your local authority.