Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has highlighted the fact that only 21% of loan applications under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme in County Roscommon have been approved to date.
The data was released to Fianna Fáil under Freedom of Information and provides a breakdown of figures from each of the 31 local authorities across the country.
Under the scheme, applications received by the local authority are sent to the Housing Agency for a recommendation then decided upon by the local authority.
Some 2,105 applications have been received, 656 have been approved and only 134 drawn down which shows that nationally only only 31% of loan applications under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme have been approved to date.
"The figures show that in County Roscommon 19 applications were received but only 4 approved and no loans were issued. In neighbouring County Leitrim 8 applications were received but none were approved and no loans issued while in County Westmeath some 21 applications were received but only 2 were approved and no loans were issued," said Deputy Murphy.
Nationally €17m has been paid out to date. The remainder have been declined outright or delayed. In 260 instances, or 20%, of the applications which were adjudicated by the Housing Agency, the local authority reached a different decision or delayed from the Agency recommendation.
"It's extremely disappointing to see that only a mere €17m has been spent under the scheme to date, compared to €2bn which has been lent by commercial providers over a similar time frame. It really is a minuscule amount and is completely at odds with the spin which suggests that this scheme has been a 'great success'.
"The figures also show a major gap between what the Housing Agency recommends and what the local authorities are deciding to do. This raises serious questions over the methodology used by the both the Agency and the local authorities. The substantial refusal rates and delays being experienced only serves to prove that this scheme is clearly not the solution to the affordability crisis ordinary workers are facing.
"We have not seen an affordable home built since 2011, house prices continue to rise; and the government’s loan scheme is refusing over half of the people that are applying to it.
"Fianna Fáil has continuously called for the re-establishment of an affordable housing scheme and has published its own proposals in this regard. Any Housing Budget needs to prioritise real investment in affordable homes," concluded Deputy Murphy.