State home build­ing loans avail­able by year end

Irish Examiner - - News - Elaine Lough­lin

State loans to tackle the lack of new house build­ing will not be rolled out un­til the end of this year de­spite be­ing an­nounced last Oc­to­ber.

Fund­ing of up to €750m will be made avail­able to builders seek­ing to con­struct de­vel­op­ments of more than 10 homes but who can­not get loans from the banks.

It is hoped that around 6,000 homes will be built in the com­ing years un­der the Home Build­ing Fi­nance Ire­land (HBFI) scheme, first an­nounced as part of the Bud­get.

Cab­i­net this week signed off on a bill needed to es­tab­lish a new body that will lend, on com­mer­cial terms, to de­vel­op­ers who may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­culty ob­tain­ing ad­e­quate fund­ing for com­mer­cially vi­able res­i­den­tial projects.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Paschal Dono­hoe said staff for the new or­gan­i­sa­tion will be p ro v i d e d t h ro u g h t h e Na­tional Trea­sury Man­age­ment Agency (NTMA) along the same lines as Nama.

“I am es­tab­lish­ing HBFI as a tem­po­rary agency to ad­dress a short­age of fi­nance for a short­age of homes,” said Mr Dono­hoe.

He said a progress re­port will be com­pleted ev­ery two years, with the first re­view at the end of 2020.

While HBFI will not be able to di­rect the ex­act amount of so­cial hous­ing that is pro­vided through these de­vel­op­ments, Hous­ing Min­is­ter Eoghan Mur­phy said they will have to fol­low the usual guide­lines which stip­u­late that 10% of any development must go to so­cial hous­ing.

Mr Dono­hoe said: “HBFI will lend to any vi­able pro­ject that meets its re­quire­ments and will not be di­rectly in­volved in de­sign­ing the hous­ing mix con­tained in the scheme it funds, be­cause that work is led by our lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

“The aim here is to pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ad­di­tional homes.

“This lend­ing will be on a com­mer­cial mar­ket equiv­a­lent terms and con­di­tions but the ex­act terms and con­di­tions will depend on the risk pro­file of each pro­ject, the qual­ity of col­lat­eral be­ing put for­ward, and the cred­it­wor­thi­ness of the bor­rower.”

Sites must have full planning per­mis­sion and will be re­quired to pro­vide at least 10 units to qual­ify for a HBFI loan.

“I aim to have this leg­is­la­tion en­acted later on in the year and we will see HBFI com­mence lend­ing by the end of 2018,” said Mr Dono­hoe.

The bill will now com­mence pas­sage through the Houses of the Oireach­tas.

Pic­ture: Leah Far­rell/RollingNews.ie

Out­lin­ing the Home Build­ing Fi­nance Ire­land agency yes­ter­day were Hous­ing Min­is­ter Eoghan Mur­phy and Pub­lic Expenditure Min­is­ter Paschal Dono­hoe.

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