Incentives and Grants

The Painting Grant Scheme: Annual funding scheme for residents and businesses to invest in building facade upgrades that improve the character of their areas.

Living City Initiative: A tax incentive for the refurbishment of historic buildings in the city centre, helping increase housing supply and tackle vacancy and dereliction.

Vacant Upper Floor Refurbishment Supports: Cork City Council is keen to fully utilize housing stock in the city centre. There are numerous buildings and upper floors lying empty, which could be made into housing accommodation. 

Living City Initiative

The Living City Initiative is a tax incentive scheme focusing on the regeneration of designated Special Regeneration Areas of Cork City, to encourage people to live in the historic area of the city and regenerate residential and commercial buildings. These areas have been designated by Order of the Minister for Finance. The scheme provides for tax relief for qualifying expenditure incurred on both residential and certain commercial refurbishment and conversion work that is carried out during the qualifying period.  It does not apply to "new build".  There are 3 types of tax relief available under the Living City Initiative –

1.  An owner/occupier residential element,

2.  A rented residential element, and

3.  A retail/commercial element (owner-occupier and lessor).

The owner/occupier residential and retail/commercial elements of the scheme commenced on 5 May 2015 and the rented residential element commenced on 1 January 2017. All three elements will terminate on 31 December 2022. In order to qualify for the tax relief, the expenditure on refurbishment or conversion must be incurred within the appropriate period as set out above.  

Full details of the scheme can be found here: Living City Initiative Information

Living City Initiative Residential Application Form: Living City Initiative Residential Application form .pdf (size 834.8 KB)

Examples of how the scheme can work

The following examples of how the scheme may apply to you can be found on the Revenues website (31/01/2017):

Example 1: Owner/Occupier Residential Relief
Example 2: Refurbished/Converted Property Acquired from a Builder
Example 3: Owner/Occupier Residential Use of Property
Example 4: Rented Residential Relief

Further Information

Cork City Council assesses and certifies the residential element of the scheme.  Applications on commercial properties are assessed and certified directly by Revenue. 

Cork City Council can advise if the location of the property and the nature of the works meet the criteria of the scheme. 

To check if your property is in a Special Regeneration Area in Cork City, please click on the Public Map Viewer.

For queries email livingcity@corkcity.ie

Vacant Upper Floor Refurbishment Supports‌

Cork City Council is keen to fully utilize housing stock in the city centre. There are numerous buildings and upper floors lying empty, which could be made into housing accommodation. There are a number of supports to assist owners convert these empty spaces into homes. Cork City Council are also available to provide information and guidance. The following supports are available:

Repair and Lease Scheme: A new Repair and Leasing Scheme has been developed to bring vacant properties into social housing use. The scheme is aimed at owners of vacant properties, who cannot afford the repairs needed to bring their property up to the standard for renting. Please see: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/housing_grants_and_schemes/repair_and_leasing_scheme.html or contact Cork City Council, Housing Department 021-4924796

Better Energy Homes Scheme: The Better Energy Homes scheme gives grants to homeowners to improve energy efficiency in their homes. Landlords and owners of more than one property can also apply for a grant under the scheme.   Please See: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/housing_grants_and_schemes/home_energy_saving_scheme.html

Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme: The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme aims to improve the energy efficiency and warmth of homes owned by people on low incomes. It is operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Please see: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/housing_grants_and_schemes/warmer_homes_scheme.html

Grants for solar panels and battery systems: The Solar PV Scheme provides a once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and/or a battery energy storage system in homes. The Solar PV Scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Please see: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/housing_grants_and_schemes/Grants_for_solar_panels_and_battery_systems.html

Built Heritage Investment Scheme: Financial assistance is provided to assist with the conservation and restoration of heritage properties through schemes, which are generally administered by the local authorities. Please see: https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/arts-culture-heritage/built-heritage/conservation-grants.html

Living City Tax Initiative: Tax relief is provided in exchange for refurbishing or converting existing properties within the designated area in Cork City. A property can be a house, apartment, shop or any kind of structure and can include all or part of a property.

Please see: https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/planning/city-centre-revitalisation/incentives-and-grants.html

Architectural Conservation Area Grant:Cork City Council has annually allocated funds to the scheme to assist the owners of historic buildings in the 36+ Architectural Conservation Areas across Cork City to undertake works necessary to secure their conservation.  Works can include repairs to roof, historic windows, historic doors, repair of elevations, repairs to historic ironwork / boundary treatments, repairs to historic shopfronts / other special building details and painting of buildings.  Please see:  https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/arts-culture-heritage/built-heritage/conservation-grants.html

Long-term leasing scheme:This new initiative represents an expansion of the options available to Cork City Council for the delivery of social housing. Properties will be leased from the private sector and used to accommodate households from the waiting list. Leased properties will be allocated to tenants, in accordance with Cork City Council's scheme of letting priorities.

Please see: https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/housing/leasing-schemes/social-and-long-term-leasing.html

Buy and Renew Scheme: The Buy and Renew Scheme enables Cork City Council to buy and refurbish long term vacant property for social housing use. The focus under the Buy and Renew scheme will be on older stock in urban areas with a view to tackling dereliction and improving streetscapes.  We would like to hear from interested property owners, who may have suitable vacant properties. Contact Cork City Council Housing Department 021-4924796.

For further assistance on any of the above contact Ciara O’Flynn, Assistant Conservation Officer 4924497 ciara_oflynn@corkcity.ie