The Cathaoirleach of Ballina Municipal District has welcomed indications from Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien that a funding scheme for first time buyers renovating vacant properties – called the Croi Conaithe scheme- is to be broadened so more people may be eligible.

Cathaoirleach  Mark Duffy says it would help address rural isolation by allowing people to move closer to home  and to be with their family.

Currently, the Croi Conaithe scheme is only open to vacant properties in an area with a population higher than 400 people.

The scheme involves a grant of up to €50,000 to help first time buyers renovate a property than has been vacant for more than two years and was built pre-1993.

Councillor Duffy told Midwest Radio's Alannah Nolan that this is a welcome development to help regenerate life in rural parts of Ireland...



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