Kildare County Council stops approving affordable home loans

Council says it has met its quota despite assertions from the Government that the scheme is open

According to a spokeswoman for Kildare County  Council, it was assigned a maximum of €15m for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan when it was launched in February 2018

According to a spokeswoman for Kildare County Council, it was assigned a maximum of €15m for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan when it was launched in February 2018

 

Kildare County Council has confirmed that it will no longer approve Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans, creating further doubt about the continuation of the low-cost home scheme.

According to a spokeswoman for the council, it was assigned a maximum of €15 million for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan when it was launched in February 2018. However, having approved 70 applications “the council has fully committed this amount of money to the scheme, and as a result it is not possible to approve any further loans for the moment”.

The spokeswoman said while the council would continue to accept applications for the scheme – which allows qualifying first-time buyers to lock into low-cost interest rates of as low as 2 per cent over 25 years by applying for a home loan with their local authority – these loans would not be approved. Instead should additional funding become available then “applications will be revisited in order of date of submission”.

The council has received 318 applications for the scheme, approving 70, of which 29 loans have been drawn down to the value of €5.6 million, or an average of €214,285 per loan.

The comments from Kildare County Council come amidst continued confusion about what is going on in the scheme. Launched with a fund of €200 million which was due to last three years, there has been speculation that the scheme has run aground as it has run out of funds, with some €106 million issued by local authorities to date, a figure which the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government says, is “ahead of profile”.

Last week, for example, Fingal County Council said that it would no longer accept applications for the scheme on the grounds that it had approved loans worth €57 million – more than 25 per cent of the total fund – and it was awaiting confirmation of further funding for the scheme.

Applications

However, the Government has since moved to convince councils that the scheme should remain open, and a spokesman from Fingal council said it was now continuing to accept applications, “and is continuing to process applications as received”.

This follows the dissemination on March 7th of a circular from the Department of Housing which stated that “the scheme remains in full operation, and all local authorities should continue to receive and process applications”.

Dublin City Council has also confirmed that it will continue to accept applications. It has received 448 applications to date, of which 218 loans have been approved to a value of €44.7 million. Of these, 111 loans have been drawn down,to a value of €23.5 million.