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Housing For All

Affordable Housing Scheme – Bower Hill, Athlone.

Westmeath County Council has launched its first Affordable Housing Scheme in Bower Hill, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

The Affordable Housing Scheme makes local homes available at a reduced price for first-time buyers, and Fresh Start applicants, whose combined mortgage and deposit will not cover the market price of the newly built home.

Through the scheme, Westmeath County Council takes a percentage equity stake (share of the ownership) in the home equal to the difference between the open market value of the property and the reduced price paid by the purchaser.

Our Current Scheme at Bower Hill, Athlone, Co. Westmeath is now closed for applications. Applicants will be notified as to the status of their applications in due course.

Further information on the development Bower Hill can be found at www.Bowerhill.ie


Croí Cónaithe Towns Fund Scheme



The Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund, to be delivered by local authorities, will provide new choices for people to live in towns and villages in Ireland, initially through the provision of a grant to support the refurbishment of vacant properties, with priority given to areas where the level of vacancy or dereliction is high.

When the Grant was launched it was made available to eligible vacant properties in towns and villages. Following a review, a decision has been made to expand availability of the Grant nationwide to eligible vacant properties in cities, towns, villages and rural parts of the country. 

A grant of up to a maximum of €30,000 will be available for the refurbishment of vacant properties, for occupation as a principal private residence. This could include the conversion of a property which has not been used as residential before. This will be subject to upper limits for the types of work specified below having regard to a reasonable cost assessment by the local authority. The grant is inclusive of VAT cost of the works.

Where the refurbishment costs are expected to exceed the standard grant of up to €30,000, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 may be available where the property is confirmed by the applicant to be derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous), bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €50,000. In the case of a top-up grant in respect of a derelict property, an independent report prepared by an appropriately qualified professional (e.g. quantity surveyor, engineer etc.) is required to be submitted along with the application confirming that the property is derelict.

Properties considered for inclusion must be vacant for two years or more and built before 1993.  Confirmation of vacancy must be validated prior to grant approval. This can be verified by Utility Bills, ESB meter readings, or such other proofs as are available to the satisfaction of the local authority. This will help determine vacancy periods (e.g., pattern of usage or disconnection).

Those applying for the grant will be required to indicate on the application form to confirm if they are applying for the vacant property refurbishment grant alone or the vacant property refurbishment grant including the derelict property top-up grant.

An SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme Grant may be available in combination with this grant. Works covered by SEAI Better Energy Homes Scheme will therefore not be covered. Applicants must demonstrate that proposed works are not claimed for under any other grant.

Proof of both vacancy and ownership will be required to support the grant payment. In terms of ownership, it is a matter for the applicant to confirm ownership to the local authority.

A local authority may give approval in principle to a grant application where the applicant is able to provide evidence of active negotiations to purchase a property i.e. confirmation of engagement from the estate agency or owner of the property and where the owner provides such evidence as to vacancy as is required under the scheme on behalf of the applicant. Such approval in principle shall not be confirmed as approval in full until ownership has transferred to the applicant and no drawdown may take place until such ownership has been confirmed to the satisfaction of the local authority.

Further information is contained in the scheme outline, application form and associated FAQs.

To submit a query about this grant in County Westmeath, please email vacanthomes@westmeathcoco.ie


Housing Delivery Action Plan 2022-2026 – Westmeath County Council

A key action under Housing for All (HFA) is to ensure that the targets for social and affordable housing are translated into clear, target driven Local Authority delivery action plans at local level.

The Housing Delivery Action Plan 2022-2026 for Westmeath outlines the planned delivery of social and affordable housing in the County over the five-year period of the Plan. National Targets and policies have been translated into local actions giving detail on the following:

  • Assessment of existing housing and current trends
  • An outline of planned delivery streams, including delivery partners, to meet targets
  • An outline of the locations where housing will be delivered including numbers by year
  • Details of existing land holdings and land acquisition required to deliver the targets in the Plan
  • Consideration of house types and sizes including provision for people with a disability and Age Friendly Housing
  • Inclusion of Traveller accommodation plans and programmes
  • Identification of delivery streams and targets for regeneration of vacant and derelict sites

Housing Delivery Action Plan 2022 - 2026 Westmeath County Council