The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme enables credit-worthy first-time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties in a suitable price range, where they cannot obtain sufficient mortgage finance from a commercial lender.
As with the previous local authority loan offerings, the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is available to first-time buyers only. There is no change in this regard. This is set out in the regulations governing the Scheme to ensure the effective targeting of limited resources.
Applicants who are separated or divorced may be treated as first-time buyers, in accordance with the regulations, if they meet certain conditions, including:
- they are separated or divorced under a court order or by a separation agreement;
- the property being purchased is the first property since leaving the family home;
- they have left the family home and retain no interest in it; or
- the other party has remained in the family home.
In meeting the conditions as set out above, in particular that the other party has remained in the family home and that the potential applicant has relinquished any rights they had over that property, no financial gain should have been made by the potential applicant in exchange for relinquishing their rights to the property in this manner. Were the individual to have made a financial gain in releasing their rights to the property (as is the case here), such as being bought out by the other party who remains resident in it, they would be deemed to have been compensated for their interest in the property, and therefore not be eligible as a first-time buyer as defined in section 92B of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act, 1999.
The loans are provided by the Local Authorities and the applications are assessed by the Housing Agency on their behalf. Each local authority must have in place a credit committee, which makes the final decision on applications for loans, in accordance with the regulations and having regard to the recommendations made by the Housing Agency.