Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (953)

Fergus O'Dowd


953. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 127 of 14 May 2019, if the internal review has been completed; if so, the details of same; when an announcement will be made in order to recommence the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23224/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme was launched in February 2018 to replace the existing House Purchase and the Home Choice Loan schemes. Towards the end of last year I asked my Department to undertake a review of its operation.

In carrying out the review, the Department has consulted with a number of local authorities, the Housing Agency and the Housing Finance Agency (HFA). The review also had regard to the views raised by public representatives since the scheme's commencement.  In making any recommendations in relation to the operation of the scheme, it also takes account of the need to ensure that lending issued under it is provided on a prudential basis, so as to protect the financial interests of the borrowers and the local authorities.    

The review has been submitted to me and I am currently examining it.

When the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan was initially being developed, it was estimated that the drawdown of loans under the scheme would be approximately €200 million over three years. From the data collated on the scheme to date, the RIHL has proven to be more successful than initially anticipated, as a result of which, the scheme would require a further tranche of funds to be borrowed by the HFA in order to enable its continuation.

My Department is currently in discussions with the Departments of Public Expenditure and Reform and Finance with regard to the amount of a second tranche, which I anticipate, will be finalised soon. When these discussions are concluded I will be in a position to make an announcement on the matter.  Ahead of such an announcement, the operation of the scheme is not affected; the scheme remains open and all local authorities have been advised to continue to receive and process applications up to and including the issuing of loans.