Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
1053. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the measures put in place for those who were in the process of buying a home but now find themselves on the temporary wage subsidy scheme. [10621/20]
My Department has responsibility for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, which is designed to enable credit-worthy first-time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties in a suitable price range. The scheme is targeted at first-time buyers who have access to an adequate deposit and have the capacity to repay a mortgage, but who are unable to access a mortgage sufficient for them to purchase their first home.
It is recognised that current applicants for a Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan may be experiencing difficulties arising out of COVID-19. Local authorities are being asked to show flexibility when dealing with applicants at all stages of the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan process from application and approval, to drawdown and appeal and should extend the time periods as necessary to accommodate those who may be experiencing difficulties arising out of COVID 19 restrictions.
Nevertheless, local authorities are also required to be prudent with their lending, both for the protection of the lender and the borrower, and ensure that mortgages are only advanced based on up to date financial and employment data from applicants as appropriate, having regard to the implications that COVID-19 has had for many businesses and employers. My Department has issued guidance to local authorities in this regard.
The final decision on loan approval is a matter for each 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 statutory credit policy that underpins the scheme, in order to ensure prudence and consistency of treatment for all applicants.
Loan applicants who are dissatisfied with a loan application decision of a local authority Credit Committee may appeal that decision to the local authority. Details of the appeals process can be obtained from the relevant local authority.