This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019

'He's wrong' - Housing Minister says Sinn Féin are mistaken on €200 million government home loan scheme

The €200 million Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme was launched in February.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/

HOUSING MINISTER EOGHAN Murphy says his Sinn Féin counterpart Eoin O Broin is “wrong” about the acceptance rate of applicants in a new government scheme.

The €200 million Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme was launched in February. It allows 1,000 prospective homeowners who don’t qualify for social housing buy a house with a government-backed mortgage.

Buyers can get mortgages for homes up to €320,000 in Dublin, Cork and Galway and €250,000 for the rest of the country.

The mortgages, granted through local authorities, are available to individual applicants whose annual gross income does not exceed €50,000 and to joint applicants who earn €75,000.

However, O Broin had claimed that the vast majority of applicants were being rejected. The Department of Housing says that applications are considered invalid for a number of reasons, including:

  • The applicant is not a first time buyer
  • The applicant’s earnings exceed the limits
  • Applicants are not in continuous employment for the required period
  • The applicant did not have the right to remain in the State
  • The application form was not completed
  • The required supporting documentation was not supplied

O’Broin said that a Parliamentary Question he had asked of the Department showed that 458 or 30% of the 1,500 applications were recommended for approval by the end of May.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said:

The figures received from the Department of Housing indicate a very low level of approvals for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan that was launched in February this year.

“Coupled with the low level of approval is the fact that the average loan amount for the 458 applications recommended for approval by the end of May was only €189,133.

With house prices continuing to rise in the key demand areas of Dublin and commuter belt this amount is not sufficient for most potential home buyers.

“The Department figures show that the Minister’s home loan scheme is off to an inauspicious start.”

However, a spokesman for Minister Murphy said:

Deputy O’Broin is wrong.

“He arrived at his figure by calculating the number of recommended approvals as a percentage of applications submitted. This did not take in account the number invalid applications or the number being processed at the time.

The most recent figures, as at the end of May, indicate that the Agency had received a total of 1,499 applications for assessment from local authorities, 1,150 of which were deemed to be valid. Of these valid applications, 876 have been assessed and 52% of the valid applications that have been assessed by the Agency have been recommended for approval.

“The true approval rate is 52%.

“The fact that 48% of valid applications have not been recommended is testament to the need for robust analysis of people’s ability to borrow and repay. The last thing we need is a whole raft of non-performing loans.”

The website for the scheme is now online.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel