When the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RIHL) scheme was initially being developed, it was estimated that the drawdown of loans would be approximately €200 million over three years. However, the RIHL proved to be more successful than initially anticipated. My officials began engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in October 2018 when higher lending and drawdown volumes were beginning to materialise. I informed the Dáil on 29 January 2019 of the scheme’s success and of the need for additional funding and indicated that my Department was in discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance with regard to the allocation for 2019.
Following positive engagement with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, my Department wrote to all 31 local authorities on 15 August 2019 sanctioning an additional €363 million in funding for the RIHL. This brings total funding for the RIHL to €563 million for 2018 and 2019 combined.
Kildare County Council’s total RIHL allocation, for the period 1 February 2018 to 31 December 2019, has been increased to some €20.9m. This overall allocation incorporates loans already issued since the inception of the scheme, loans which will be drawn down on foot of approvals already issued and projected loan demand for the rest of 2019.
My Department publishes information on the overall number and value of (i) local authority loan approvals and (ii) local authority loan drawdowns. Local authority approval means that an official letter of offer has been sent to a borrower (and therefore relates to a specific property and loan amount). Information on the RIHL for Quarter 1 2019, including in relation to the number and value of mortgage approvals and drawdowns, is available on the Department's website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-prices-loans-and-profile-borrowers/local-authority-loan-activity. The data for Quarter 2 2019 will be available in the coming weeks.