Dozens of home loan applications in jeopardy

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Mortgage loans

APPLICANTS to a house buying scheme being administered by the local authority are in the dark about whether they will be able to get a loan.

Limerick City and County Council has 174 applications for loans under the Rebuilding Ireland scheme, a government programme aimed at helping first-time buyers on low incomes secure a home.

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But they have now been told to close up shop on the scheme because the money has run out.

With 2,908 people on the housing waiting list in the Limerick local authority area and 174 hopefuls with applications in the system, the council has approved and paid out five loans under the scheme.

Labour Housing Spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan has described the government’s failure to secure on-going funding for the scheme as ‘inexcusable’.

Deputy O’Sullivan said: “The Taoiseach admitted in the Dáil this week that the €200 million allocated for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme has all been used.  Equally alarming, he said that the Central Bank would have to be consulted before more funds could be released.

“This is in complete contrast to what the Housing Minister was saying in the latter part of last year when he indicated that the HFA would be going to market for the second tranche of funds as required.  It seems now that there was no sanction from Government for this.

“There is also now a serious concern that the interest rate could be increased, putting the repayments out of the reach of many families.

“This whole debacle is an appalling way to treat those who are working hard to raise the money to buy a home, who can’t afford private rent cost and who were led to believe there was a solution.

A spokesman for the local authority said that as yet, Limerick City and County Council has received no instruction in relation to the scheme.