Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme – ‘a huge success’

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RIHL) remains open to new applicants, and local authorities are to continue to receive, process and issue these loans. It has also emerged that the scheme has been “a huge success” since its inception last year.

These were the sentiments expressed during Dáil proceedings earlier this week by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy after he was asked by deputy Noel Grealish what the time-frame was – in respect of the scheme – to honour all outstanding applications.

The RIHL scheme was launched on February 1, 2018, with an estimated draw-down of loans in the region of approximately €200 million over three years. Minister Murphy told those gathered in the Dáil this week that the scheme has proven to be more successful than was initially anticipated.

Some €140 million has been drawn-down to the end of March 2019 and the first tranche of funding has not been exhausted.

He continued: “My officials have been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform since October 2018 when higher lending and draw-down volumes were beginning to materialise.”

The minister went on to say that he informed the Dáil last January that because of the success of the scheme the need for additional funding had arisen.

He also pointed out that he had indicated – at the time – that his department was in discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance regarding the 2019 spend.

At all times the scheme remained open and all local authorities were advised to continue to receive and process applications up to and including the issuing of loans.

The minister continued: “My department has consulted in detail with each local authority as to the anticipated demand in its area and the likely level of approvals expected.

“This information has been submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with request for sanction for additional borrowing by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).

“The HFA has an ongoing borrowing facility for when sanction is given so that they are in a position to proceed to borrow this second tranche of funding immediately.

“The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted and the RIHL remains open to new applicants. Local authorities are to continue to receive, process and issue loans.”

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