The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme (RIHL) enables credit-worthy first-time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties in a suitable price range, where they cannot obtain sufficient mortgage finance from a commercial lender.

Applicants must be in continuous employment for a minimum of two years as the primary earner, or be in continuous employment for a minimum of one year, as a secondary earner.

These were the sentiments expressed by the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, during Dáil proceedings last week after deputy Willie Penrose (Labour) asked him if a person who has been adjudicated bankrupt – and who will be out of bankruptcy at the end of 2019 – but remains working and in rented accommodation with their partner – who is not bankrupt – will be eligible for the scheme.

The minister pointed out that as with the previous local authority loan offerings, the RIHL is available to first-time buyers only.

This, he added, is set out in the regulations governing the scheme and ensures the effective targeting of limited resources.

A person who has been discharged from bankruptcy and is eligible in all other respects, including being a first-time buyer, for an RIHL may apply for a loan.

The minister continued: “They will be subject to the same credit assessment process that applies to all applicants which is carried out in accordance with the credit policy for the scheme.

“The final decision on loan approval is a matter for the relevant local authority and its credit committee on a case-by-case basis.

“Decisions on all housing loan applications must be made in accordance with the regulations establishing the scheme and the credit policy that underpins the scheme – in order to ensure prudence and consistency in approaches – in the best interests of both borrowers and the lending local authorities.”