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Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

There were just 11 mortgages approved on a government loan scheme in 5 years

Fianna Fáil has called for an overhaul of the Home Choice Loan (HCL) Scheme.

FIANNA FÁIL HAS called for an overhaul of a government sponsored home loan scheme after newly released figures show just 11 mortgages have been drawn down on it since 2011.

Figures released to finance spokesperson Michael McGrath from a Parliamentary Question also show that no mortgages have been drawn down from the Home Choice Loan (HCL) Scheme since 2014.

The Home Choice Loan Scheme is a mortgage for first time buyers provided by local authorities.

Applicants must fulfil certain criteria to avail of the loans. Among these is the requirement that applicants must be first-time buyers who can produce evidence of refusal or inadequate loan offers by two financial institutions.

The figures show a small take-up rate of the loans in recent years:

PQ mortgage The figures dating back to 2011. Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government


“It is incredible that this government-backed mortgage scheme for first time buyers has delivered so few mortgages,” said McGrath.

“The government needs to revamp the Home Choice Loan Scheme and start marketing it.

It is clear that the local authorities have little or no interest in this scheme so perhaps the role should be given to someone else, such as local Credit Unions.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government said that the operation of the scheme was being kept “under review”.

“The refusal of HCL applications could hinge on many factors,” the department said.

The terms and conditions of the HCL will deem many ineligible of the HCL loan.

The department also said that the low figures of people availing of the mortgages could be down to the general drop in people applying for mortgages due to the economic crisis.

“In addition the fall off in demand for HCLs may correspond with the fall off in mortgages generally as a result of the difficult economic climate from which we are emerging,” the spokesperson said.

Read: Snapshot of one county: How Ireland’s housing crisis grew out of control

Read: This is what the government is being told to do to solve the housing crisis

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