The Living City Initiative (LCI) is a tax incentive scheme designed to allow owners (and now investors) to claim tax relief for money spent refurbishing or restoring older building stock in the city and bringing in back into residential use. The LCI was announced in 2014 and applicable to the five main cities. In Dublin, the scheme applies to a Special Regeneration Area which includes much of the city centre. The SRA extends to The Liberties and commercial streets such as Thomas Street, Meath Street and James Street, where the reuse and conversion of older building stock is desirable.
Despite obvious attractions to the scheme, take-up has been very low. At the beginning of 2017, the Department of Finance announced changes to the scheme to make it more attractive, most notably by removing the provision for owner-occupier only projects thus widening application of the scheme to investors or building owners who did not intend using their property as a principal residence. In addition, the restriction on the maximum floor size of the property was removed, along with the requirement that the property must have been previously used as a dwelling. The minimum amount of expenditure for works was also amended and must now only exceed €5,000.
Dublin City Council has also announced a new campaign to encourage take-up of the scheme and measures to assist building owners looking to take part. A ‘Living City Initiative Unit’ has been established, and has compiled a layperson’s guide to the LCI tax incentive scheme in order to assist owners and investors to access the scheme and encourage the re-use of buildings in the designated SRA in Dublin.
In addition, the LCI unit has set up a ‘One Stop Shop’ Advisory Team from Planning, Architects, Fire prevention, Building Control, Conservation, Valuers & other relevant Departments. The Team are available to meet with owners/investors to provide advice on statutory planning and development requirements in relation to their proposed refurbishment and/or conversion works before they commence.
It is a free service, but must be booked in advance by contacting the Living City Initiative Unit at;
Living City Initiative (LCI) Unit
Dublin City Council,
Planning & Property Development Department,
Block 4, Floor 3,
Civic Office, Wood Quay,
Telephone: 01 222 3480
You’ll find online information about Living City Initiative at www.dublincity.ie