The Repair To Lease Scheme announced by the Government today is welcome and anything that will lead to the rejuvenation of rural areas is a positive development. This is something that I have been proposing for some time past and I am calling on Local Authorities around the country to act quickly to roll out the scheme and help to identify suitable properties which are eligible for the scheme.
Local authorities in each area will decide what properties are eligible for the scheme and grants to a maximum of 40,000 Euro will be made available for repair to suitable properties. The refurbished properties must then be leased for a minimum of ten years. This scheme should lead to the rejuvenation of many small towms and villages and I will be calling on local authorities to take this scheme by the scruff of the neck and to actively seek people with suitable properties to take part. The Approved Housing Groups around the country will also have a part to play and I will be pressing the local authroities to come up with a plan in conjunction with all other interested parties to avail of this scheme.
The need for housing and accommodation in all areas of the country is well known and this scheme will help to repair and refurbish properties in many towns and villages for people to live in and that has to be a positive move in terms of rural re-generation. It will also create employment in the building industry away from the big towns and cities over the five year term of the scheme and that is also welcome.