22 May 2022

Government should allow Credit Unions participate in housing schemes

Government should allow Credit Unions participate in housing schemes

Government should allow Credit Unions participate in housing schemes

Offaly TD and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Barry Cowen, has said that now more than ever the Government must seriously examine the proposals put forward by Fianna Fáil to allow Credit Unions to provide loans those wishing to purchase a home.

Deputy Cowen was commenting following reports that the Government-backed mortgage scheme has been put on hold because it has run out of funding.

“An internal document from the Department of Housing details how further approvals are not currently being issued for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan," Barry said. 

“Minister Murphy has questions to answer as to why he didn’t inform the Oireachtas Committee on Housing that they were running out of funds and whether or not people should continue to apply for the loans through their local authority or if they are just wasting their time."

“But this raises another issue, one which I have been talking about for over two years. Why are the Government not making use of the Credit Union network to provide home loan schemes? Under present legislation or Central Bank rules Credit Unions do not have the capacity to participate in schemes such as the Government-backed mortgage scheme."

“They are more than willing to do so. Credit unions are only lending 20% of their capacity. They have €1 million coming in per week that they cannot use. They are only permitted to invest in the pillar banks, but the pillar banks are not giving them a return. Any return from a housing scheme would be far greater than the 0% they currently get," Cowen added.

“This Government is often-times critical that the opposition does not put forward proposals or solutions yet when we do they don’t appear to be even considered nor any progress made on them. The Taoiseach confirmed as much to me when he said it was something he needed to study more closely and he couldn’t confirm whether or not it was under the remit of the Central Bank or the Government,” concluded Deputy Cowen.

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