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, the Department received correspondence in July conveying sanction to increase the funding for the scheme by €363 million for the remainder of 2019, bringing the total scheme funding to €563 million.
My Department wrote to all 31 local authorities on 15 August 2019, advising of their revised allocations for the RIHL, thereby giving them certainty regarding the amount they have available for mortgage lending.