The Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS) was developed to assist private property owners and local authorities or approved housing bodies (AHBs) to harness the accommodation potential that exists in vacant dwellings across Ireland. Subject to the suitability of the dwelling for social housing, the cost of the necessary repairs will be met upfront by the local authority or an AHB with the cost of the repairs being recovered from the property owner by offsetting it against the lease payment.
At end Q2 2020, a total of 185 dwellings had been brought back into use under the scheme across a range of dwelling types, including over the shop properties, former bedsits, city centre terraced houses, and one off rural dwellings.
Given the value of the scheme to local authorities and its role in tackling vacancy, it is a key objective to increase delivery under the scheme. I have therefore, increased the current RLS funding limit of €40,000 to €60,000 for all properties. I am confident that the increase in the maximum funding available will result in additional output under the scheme as well as having additional benefits in terms of regeneration, employment and investment in local areas.
The budget allocation for RLS in 2020 is €10.7 million, targeting the delivery of 150 homes. I have secured an increased allocation of €11m for the scheme in 2021 targeting the delivery of 170 homes.