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The Urban Renewal Scheme reinvigorated many of the our towns and villages. That was welcome.
I appeal to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, to match it with a scheme to save the many thousands of excellent rural dwellings being deserted annually, through death or emigration.
Nothing deteriorates so fast as a deserted house.
It is as if the forces of nature know there is no one to protest and it falls asunder.
It should be possible to introduce a scheme for rural renewal that would ensure that houses in good shape are retained. Many of those houses are in areas with infrastructure, such as schools, churches, pubs and post offices, but that infrastructure is collapsing because of dwindling population.
The Government should seriously consider incentives to facilitate the purchase of these houses, so that they could be allocated to people on the local authority housing lists.
This cannot be done compulsorily, but could be done by offering the legal owners of the premises 50% more than the normal price expected for such houses.
The result might be a net gain for the Exchequer and for the local authority. Above all, it would be a major gain in terms of retaining population in rural parishes.
I appeal to government to restore life and hope to rural parishes by having my proposals implemented.
My thanks, in advance.
Cllr. Noel Collins,
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