A Leitrim Councillor has called for a specific review into how successful the vacant and derelict property refurbishment grant has been when it comes to the renovation of properties that are situated in town centres over above commercial premises in towns and villages.
A recent central Statistics Office (CSO) report has found that Leitrim the highest proportion of vacant dwellings in the State, at 10.6 per cent.
It’s thought that many empty properties or underutilised properties, in towns where living quarters above retail or former retail units are not attractive propositions for potential home owners.
The introduction of vacant and derelict property refurbishment grants which entitles people to €30,000 for doing up a property vacant for two or more years or €50,000 if it is derelict was first introduced for towns and villages before it was extended to rural area.
In Leitrim, the scheme has attracted significant interest however the majority of the houses are thought to be in rural areas outside towns and villages.
Speaking to Ocean FM News, Sinn Féin Councillor Padraig Fallon says a review needs to be carried out to see if many vacant properties in towns have been renovated: