Housing – lessons from the past


Sir, – When my wife and I got married in 1968, we bought a Gallagher-built house in Ballinteer for £3,250. The deposit was £650 and we had only saved £500. My father and mother gave us the extra £150. I don’t know where they got such a sum to spare. Because my wages were low we were able to qualify for a country council loan, which was to be paid back over 25years at £18 per month. The rate never varied. This followed the guidelines we were advised to follow, given at our pre-marriage course, that our mortgage repayments should not be more than one-third of our income. The majority of our neighbours were in the same boat. After nine years, having acquired my qualifications, my salary increased, children had arrived on the scene and we were able to afford move to a bigger house.

It was the perfect solution for young or first-time buyers as it allowed us to get on the housing ladder. Why don’t the county councils resurrect this excellent scheme?

Money is very cheap at the moment, young buyers would not be laden down with high repayments and the councils would have a regular income over the repayment period. The scale of the loan and repayments would obviously be much greater but the concept should still work for all. – Yours, etc,