Maurice Quinlivan and Jan O'Sullivan with Pat Doyle of the trust
A HOMELESS charity in Limerick is urging owners of empty properties to make contact with the organisation as the number of people on the streets increases again.
The Peter McVerry Trust plans to provide at least 40 housing units across Limerick city and county by the end of 2017 in a €2.5 million investment.
Figures for homelessness for Limerick from the Department of Housing show that there were 252 people homeless in Limerick this January, rising to 267 in February and 281 this March.
The charity is now eager to speak to the owners of buildings that have been empty for a year or more which require renovation works.
Owners may now qualify for Government grants to do up the properties by partnering with housing charities such as the Peter McVerry Trust.
There are two new schemes that apply to the owners of empty homes, the Repair and Leasing Scheme and the Buy and Renewal Initiative. According to the Central Statistics Office, there are were almost 8,500 empty homes in Limerick.
“A more rigorous examination may show there are less than that there are still a substantial number of empty homes in the county,” said Pat Doyle, chief executive of the trust.
Under the Repair and Leasing Scheme, anyone who has a property which has been vacant for a year or more could qualify for a grant of up to €40,000 to renovate the property.
The owner would then lease the property to Peter McVerry Trust for between 10-20 years. This would provide a long-term guaranteed income, and the property and tenants would both be managed by Peter McVerry Trust at no expense to the owner.
Mr Doyle said the Buy and Renew Initiative will be of interest to owners of empty properties who want to sell.
“This scheme provides funds to the council and to housing charities to buy good value empty homes in order to renovate them and use them as social housing.”
Expressions of interest in the two schemes can be made directly to Peter McVerry Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01 823 0776.