Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (996)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

996. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the extent to which he has investigated the possibility of providing a State backed loan scheme similar to the old local loans fund by which young couples and families might be in the position to meet their own housing need as opposed to being forced to remain in high rent accommodation interminably; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24298/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Following a review of the two previously existing local authority home loan schemes, the House Purchase Loan and the Home Choice Loan, a new loan offering was introduced from 1 February 2018, known as the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan.  The loan enables credit worthy first time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties in a suitable price range.  The low rate of fixed interest associated with the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan provides first time buyers with access to mortgage finance that they may not otherwise be able to afford at a higher interest rate.

Single applicants for the loan must not be earning greater than €50,000 gross per annum.  The combined income of joint applicants must not be greater than €75,000 per annum.  There are no set minimum income limits; however, applicants do need to have sufficient borrowing and repayment capacity and must be capable of repaying the mortgage in accordance with the statutory credit policy underpinning the loan.  These income limits are unchanged from the previous local authority loan offerings.

Full details of the loan's eligibility criteria and other information is available from the dedicated Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan website: http://rebuildingirelandhomeloan.ie/.  Any person who meets the eligibility criteria may apply for a loan regardless of whether or not they are on the local authority housing list or qualified for social housing support.

For prospective purchasers of newly-built properties, the availability, through the Revenue Commissioners, of the Help to Buy Initiative for first-time buyers may provide additional assistance to prospective applicants for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan.  Further details on the Help to Buy Initiative are available on the Revenue website at: www.revenue.ie/en/property/help-to-buy-incentive/index.aspx