Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Ceisteanna (319, 320, 321)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

319. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of Rebuilding Ireland home loans likely to become available to suitable applicants nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52159/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

320. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to adjust income limits for applicants for Rebuilding Ireland home loans in order to aggressively deal with the housing shortage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52160/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

321. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to increase dramatically the number and availability of Rebuilding Ireland home loans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52161/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 319 to 321, inclusive, together.

It continues to be the case under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, which was introduced on 1 February 2018, that single applicants applying for the loan must not be earning more than €50,000 gross per annum and the combined income of joint applicants must not be greater than €75,000 gross per annum. This is to ensure the effective targeting of limited resources. I have no plans to raise these income limits at present.

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is a demand led scheme and when it was initially being developed, it was estimated that the drawdown of loans would be approximately €200 million over three years. However, this loan product has proved to be more successful than initially anticipated. In the context of the scheme’s success my Department engaged with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance with regard to the allocation for 2019.

I engaged early as I said I would. While discussions commenced in October 2018 on additional funding, the first tranche of €200m was only fully drawn down in August of this year. My Department wrote to all 31 local authorities on 15 August 2019 sanctioning an additional €363.6 million in funding for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan. This brings total funding for the Loan to over €563.6 million for 2018 and 2019 combined.

The overall allocations incorporate 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. There are no requests for additional funding in 2019.