Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Questions (196, 197)

Jack Wall

Question:

298 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of applications for the shared ownership loan submitted to Kildare County Council in each of the past three years; the number accepted and drawn down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25709/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

Activity under the shared ownership scheme for each local authority is published in my Department's housing statistics bulletins, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library.

Jack Wall

Question:

299 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the plans to investigate the interest rates of the shared ownership loans as operated by local authorities in view of present bank interest rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25710/04]

View answer

The current variable interest rate to local authority borrowers is 2.95%, which represents a competitive rate of lending. A fixed interest rate is not available for shared ownership loans. The interest rate on local authority housing loans, including shared ownership mortgage loans, is determined by the Housing Finance Agency by reference to mortgage rates prevailing in the financial market. Local authority loan rates compare favourably with the equivalent rates charged by commercial lending agencies.

It is not proposed to change these current arrangements. These were revised, with effect from 1 January 2003, so that loans to repay the local authority equity in shared ownership transactions would be provided from variable interest rate loan finance instead of index linked finance.