Limerick City and County Council is calling on the owners of vacant properties who cannot afford to refurbish them to make them available to the local authority for leasing.

The Government has announced a new ‘Repair and Lease Scheme’ (RLS) where funding will be provided to bring vacant properties up to the standard for renting and they will then be leased by the local authority for use as social housing.

It is a requirement that houses or apartments have been vacant for at least one year.

The scheme is targeted at owners of vacant properties who cannot afford or access the funding required to bring them up to the approved standards.

Subject to the suitability of the property for social housing, and the agreement of the property owner, the cost of the necessary repairs will be met upfront by the local authority or an approved housing body (AHB).

The maximum costs of repairs allowable under RLS will be €40,000. The scheme allows for the property owner to sign-up to a lease arrangement for a length that is linked to the value of the repairs, subject to a minimum of 10 years.

The value of the repairs will then be offset against the agreed rental payment over a defined period within the lease.

Welcoming the rollout of the scheme, Seamus Hanrahan, Senior Project Manager with Limerick City and County Council said that at the end of January 2017, there were 3,477 people on the housing waiting list and that this new scheme will help to provide homes for a number of these people.

“It’s also a great opportunity to breathe life back into underutilised areas of Limerick city and towns and villages across the county. It also means that vacant and abandoned properties are being re-used, improving the overall look and well-being of the areas involved.”

Expression of interest or queries in relation to the Repair and Lease Scheme should be sent to