Only nine applicants draw down Rebuilding Ireland Home loan

By Maurice Garvey 

THE Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme has been criticised after it was revealed just nine applicants have drawn down a loan with South Dublin County Council since the Government backed mortgage scheme for first-time buyers became available nationwide through local authorities last February.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Trevor Gilligan obtained the figures on October 19 from SDCC which stated the council received 242 applications, of which 69 applicants got provisional approval for a loan and nine applicants have drawn down the loan.

REBUILDING IRELAND

“A rejection rate of 71.25 per cent for an affordable housing scheme seems quite high and this needs to be looked at,” said Cllr Gilligan.

“There seems to be a long delay between decisions and appeals. I asked for the figures after being contacted by applicants who were finding it a little frustrating, but it took me over a month to get the figures.”

Meanwhile, it was reported that just 33 affordable mortgages have been drawn down via Dublin City Council.

DCC reported that 225 out of 345 applications had been approved, indicating a rejection rate of 35 per cent - a higher approval rate than other councils.

Figures from the Department of Housing indicate a rejection rate of 61 per cent, with 2,933 applications received since last February, and just 1,134 approved.

Not all approved loans will be drawn down until local authorities make a final decision on applications.

Cllr Gilligan said long delays are leading to applicants to seek alternative arrangements “from banks, loans from friends, or relatives.”

“The people I’ve talked to have had all their ducks in a row, they are looking at a house, sale has been agreed, their bid accepted, and are in a hurry but it seems to drag on. It’s not fair. If an application takes too long, sellers will simply go to the next bidder.”

Under the loan scheme, first time buyers can borrow up to €288,000 in Dublin for a home with a maximum market value of €320,000.

Gilligan doesn’t believe the market is to blame, noting homes for sale in Clondalkin which are well within the price range of the scheme.

He continued: “If the bank is willing to lend why not the council. I know they have to be as strict as a bank, but I don’t think it justifies just one approved loan per month.”

A spokesperson for SDCC told The Echo they have received 242 applications to date.

Of these, the council said 56 applications were rejected at source, 60 were declined, 57 are currently being processed and 69 approved in principle.

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