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Relief for prospective home buyers in south Dublin as council raises €15 million to fund mortgage scheme

Doubts had previously been raised over the future of the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/Lloyd Carr

SOUTH DUBLIN COUNTY Council has said it has raised €15 million in loans from the Housing Finance Agency to provide first-time buyers access to a government loan scheme.

It comes as a relief to prospective homeowners who had been left in limbo after it was feared a lack of funding could scupper the loan scheme. 

The demand was such for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RIHL) scheme announced by the government in early 2018 that the Department of Housing sought a further €600 million to keep running the scheme through to 2021. 

The RIHL is a government-backed mortgage for first-time buyers which you can avail of through your local authority. First-time-buyers can borrow up to 90% of the market value of the property, with maximum market values set at €320,000 in the counties of Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow, and €250,000 in the rest of the country.

However, due to the lack of clarity over future funding for the scheme, it left some families that met the criteria unable to draw down the loans in recent months.

One such prospective homeowner who was awaiting the approval told TheJournal.ie last month that he and his family were left “stuck” if they weren’t able to avail of the scheme in the near future

And, in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil’s Darragh O’Brien said South Dublin County Council hadn’t permitted drawdown of the loans since December.

“People are making loan applications but are unsure whether they will ever be able to get to the stage of drawdown,” he said. “We need to clear this up once and for all.”

Earlier this week, Roscommon County Council confirmed it had taken out funds to the tune of €1.5 million to fund the scheme in its area.

In a statement today, South Dublin County Council confirmed it had received additional funds to help fund the scheme. 

It said: “Elected members in South Dublin County Council approved raising the €15 million loan at the monthly council meeting when it was held earlier this week.

“The Council previously sanctioned €10m of this allocation at the 2018 June Council Meeting, bringing the overall total sought by South Dublin County Council to €25 million for the scheme.

To date, the Council has approved 113 applications and applications are still being accepted under the scheme.

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Sean Murray

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