BY: Jarone Ashkenazi
In an effort to revive the country’s island communities, Ireland’s government has launched its ‘Our Living Islands’ campaign. The policy comes into effect on July 1 and eligibility varies with each local authority.
Those dreaming of isolated island life will soon be offered the opportunity to move to one of the 23 islands and make a bit of money along the way. The government is looking to revitalize some of the country’s offshore communities that aren’t connected to the mainland via either bridges or low tides.
To start, those who are interested would work with Vacant Home Officers who are currently scouring the land to identify eligible properties. And while this remote idyllic life sounds like pure island bliss, there are some catches that must be known.
The first condition is that you must want to both fix-up and live in old derelict homes. And it isn’t just any old home, the property must have been vacant for at least two years and have been built before 1993.
And it isn’t quite as simple as moving to Ireland and getting a sizable check, the money is given to those interested in the form of a grant. Furthermore, the money is restricted to be used for specific items including structural improvement, decoration and insulation.
This program builds upon an existing program on mainland Ireland called ‘Croí Cónaithe’, but the grant sizes are bigger. On top of home renovation, the government is hoping that the scheme will improve the area’s infrastructure, from education, healthcare and more over the next three years.
Ireland comprises 80 islands, of which only about 20 are inhabited, and this policy will drastically increase the population density of surrounding smaller islands.
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