28 Sept 2022

Working and renting Laois couples must be given 'a break' for mortgages

Young working Laois people looking for a council mortgage are in a “no win” situation, a councillor has said.

Cllr Willie Aird claims that working couples in private rented accommodation cannot save for a deposit to get council provided mortgages.

“€13,000, €15,000 might not see a lot of money, but you go out and look for it, it’s damn hard. For god’s sake give people a break. Life is too short,” he said.

The Fine Gael councillor wants Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to review the criteria that says applicants must have saved 10% of the price of the house they are buying.

“The problem is, people are paying €800 to €1, 200 a month, the first thing they pay out of their wage is rent. That can go on for up to five years. To be approved for a council loan, your income is already at a low level. How does anyone expect young people to come up with the money? We are in a no win situation for those people. When you’re getting a council loan you will not get a second loan like that elsewhere,” he said.

Cllr Aird said a couple he was representing were €23.38 above the income threshold for social housing.

“They were told the only way to qualify was if the girl was expecting and out of work and their income was down for that year.

“But then they would get an offer, and submit their updated details, they won’t get it,” he said at a recent meeting of Laois County Council.

Cllr Paddy Bracken said the income threshold is too low for working people to qualify.

“In normal times they would have qualified for a house. Decent hard working people are in debt now all their lives,” he said.
Labour Cllr Noel Touhy said that the Minister for Housing has caused the present situation.

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