Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan fails to deliver for Donegal

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Sept. 20th, 2018

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Independent TD Thomas Pringle asked a question to the Minister for Housing on the number of people in Donegal who have applied and have been approved for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme introduced last year.

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme was introduced across the country to enable people obtain loans to purchase a home as long as they met a strict criteria and have been refused mortgages from banks multiple times.

“Despite Donegal being a rural constituency people are finding it difficult to obtain mortgages where they currently live and work. A Government-backed scheme is needed to help those who can’t access social housing but who earn too little to afford the house prices at the moment.

“Unfortunately the Minister’s reply makes for dismal reading. Firstly it shows that as of Q4 in 2017 only 23 applications for the Home Loan were made by individuals in Donegal indicating the criteria is too restrictive requiring people to jump through multiple hoops before they get anywhere.

“Furthermore, out of those 23 applications three were deemed invalid and 8 were refused. That leaves with only 12 applications “recommended for approval” by the Department of Housing to Donegal County Council resulting in only a 50% success rate. We can only assume that “recommended for approval” will lead to the applicant securing that loan but there’s still a chance they could be denied.

“I’ve already met a number of people attending my clinics who didn’t bother applying knowing the criteria were far too restrictive.

“Security of accommodation is becoming more and more urgent while under Fine Gael’s administration but tenant rights are fast becoming under threat alongside workers’ rights reducing people’s income security. This is against the backdrop of social welfare supports still not at pre-2012 levels since drastic cuts were made by Fine Gael.

“The situation is getting worse particularly for people on HAP who are coming to me saying landlords are refusing to facilitate HAP recipients. How can we expect people to deal with such volatility?

“We need more Government-backed initiatives which adequately address the real urgent need for security of tenure. The Home Loan scheme is a dishonest gesture by Fine Gael to look like they are doing something about this crisis without actually having to intervene. They continue to refuse to intervene in the market and stand faithful to the private sector claiming it can adequately address the housing crisis. They couldn’t be more wrong on that front” concludes Pringle.

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