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Housing Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (292)

Neasa Hourigan


292. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if applicants to the Rebuilding Ireland home loan are required to wait until three months after their last employment wage subsidy scheme payment until they can be approved for a mortgage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61455/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Local authorities when processing Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans (RIHL) must lend mortgages on a prudent basis, taking into account the most recent income and employment data available. It would not be appropriate to lend when there is an identifiable risk that the person’s income and ability to pay might not return to the level required to support the borrowing requested. This is both for the protection of the lender and the borrower, in particular to seek to ensure that borrowers are not left with unsustainable debt burdens, given that a mortgage is a long-term commitment.

Under the RIHL Scheme, where an applicant’s employer is availing of EWSS and an applicant is approved for an RIHL, drawdown would not usually commence until their unsupported income post EWSS has returned to the level specified in the original application for a period, usually up to three months.

However, given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, I issued a further direction to Local Authorities on 1 December 2021 in Circular 41/2021 for applicant(s) who have an approval in principle and wish to draw down their mortgage. Local Authorities now have discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to allow drawdown for applicant(s) whose employer is availing of EWSS, if repayment capacity can be assured based on the applicant(s)’ income and if a letter of assurance from the employer availing of EWSS confirming the sustainability of the applicant(s) employment is submitted

The final decision on Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan applications is a matter for the relevant local authority.