Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North, Frank O’Rourke, has expressed his frustration at the fact that Local Authorities are unable to continue processing and approving applications under the Re-building Ireland Home Loan Scheme due to the Government’s hesitation to formally sanction more funds for the scheme.
He explained, “Local Authorities are unable to process applications under the Re-building Ireland Home Loan Scheme because they are still waiting for confirmation of further funding from the Department, this is despite the Department claiming the first-round money is not yet exhausted.
“There is a clear disconnect between the Department and Local Authorities who are crying out for the funds. A recent PQ response I received from the Department stated that ‘the scheme remains open and all local authorities have been advised to continue to receive and process applications up to and including the issuing of loans’ yet Kildare County Council informed me that they are waiting for confirmation of further funding from the Department with approximately 165 applications waiting to be processed.
“This conflicting information is adding to confusion. I have been contacted by many anxious prospective homebuyers in the Kildare North who have applied for funding under the scheme. They are now left in the dark, with no indication as to whether additional funding will be made available under the scheme. We are told the decision will be made imminently but little else.
“It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to the government that the original funding allocation of €200m would be used up so quickly. We are experiencing a housing crisis nationwide and Local Authorities are at the coalface of it.
“Kildare County Council have confirmed to me that they were allocated €15m at the start of this scheme in February 2018. By the end of September 2018, they had approved loans to that value, meaning they had used their allocation in just seven months – this demonstrates the serious demand there is for the scheme. They now have approximately 165 applications still waiting to be processed.
“Across eight years in power, Fine Gael have built no affordable housing, this is their first proper attempt to provide access to credit for first-time buyers and they are letting it fall into disarray. The Minister must give a cast-iron guarantee that this important scheme will continue into the future”, he concluded.