Applicants for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan must be of good credit standing and have a satisfactory credit record. The Housing Agency provides a central credit assessment service to local authorities and credit checks are undertaken as part of the credit assessment process. The final decision on loan approval is a matter for the relevant local authority and its credit committee on a case-by-case basis. Decisions on all housing loan applications must be made in accordance with the statutory credit policy that underpins the scheme, in order to ensure prudence and consistency in approaches in the best interests of both borrowers and the lending local authorities.
As with the previous local authority home loan offerings, the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is available to first time buyers only. This is to ensure the effective targeting of limited resources, and in order to protect both borrowers and local authorities the continuation of the scheme will have to be in accordance with the prudent lending criteria under which the scheme currently operates. I have no plans to amend this requirement.