Laois hopeful home buyers are being billed €100 just to apply for a council loan

Housing

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois hopeful home buyers are being billed €100 just to apply for a council loan

Laois County Council HQ

Laois first time buyers are being charged €100 just to apply for a council mortgage, but more applicants have been turned down than were approved.

There is a €100 fee just for applying to Laois County Council for a housing loan, and one Portlaoise councillor is highly critical of the process that appliants must go through..

The criteria that must be met to get a council housing loan makes it “just not possible”, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald has said.

She was speaking at the September council meeting, after the CEO John Mulholland gave an update of housing loans granted.

There were just four approved loans given over the three month period from April to June 2017.

Twelve loan applications were carried over from the first quarter of 2017, and 13 new applications were received.

Six loan applications were turned down. Four were granted and two more files were closed, leaving 13 applications still to be considered by the council.

“The figures are low on loans because the criteria is just not possible for anyone to get a loan,” said Cllr Fitzgerald from Portlaoise.

“The fee is €100 for even applying for it. We should go back to the traditional council loan for the public to build or buy their homes. Just four loans in one quarter. It is not the fault of anyone here,” the Fianna Fáil councillor said at the meeting.

The loans are available for first time buyers to buy or build a house, who cannot get a loan elsewhere.

Single applicants must be earning less than €50k a year, and joint applicants less than €75k.

The maximum loan given is €200k, for a maximum 90 percent of the cost, over a maximum of 30 years.

Applicants must give proof that they have been turned down by two lenders.

Meanwhile a Portarlington councillor has condemned as 'disgraceful' the ongoing delay to build new council houses in the town. Read full story here.