Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (744)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

744. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding provided to Cavan and Monaghan county councils in respect of the home loan scheme; when the necessary funding will be put in place to ensure that applications can be processed and finalised without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26314/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Rebuilding Ireland home loan (RIHL) scheme was launched on 1 February of last year. The 2018 approved allocation to Cavan County Council was €2.1 million, with €5m for Monaghan County Council.

When the scheme was initially being developed, it was estimated that the drawdown of loans would be approximately €200 million over three years. The RIHL has proven to be more successful than initially anticipated, with some €140 million drawn down to the end of March 2019. The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted.

My Department publishes information on the overall number and value of (i) loan approvals and (ii) loan drawdowns. Information up to the end of Quarter 1 2019, in respect of all local authorities, including Cavan and Monaghan County Councils, is available on the Department's website at the following link:

http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-prices-loans-and-profile-borrowers/local-authority-loan-activity.

My officials have been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform since 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.

At all times, the scheme remained open and all local authorities were advised to continue to receive and process applications up to and including the issuing of loans.

My Department has consulted in detail with each Local Authority as to the anticipated demand in its area, and the likely level of approvals expected. This information has been submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with request for sanction for additional borrowing by the Housing Finance Agency. The HFA have an ongoing borrowing facility for when sanction is given so that they are in a position to proceed to borrow this second tranche of funding immediately.

The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted, the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan remains open to new applicants, and local authorities are to continue to receive, process and issue loans.