Local Authority Home Loan
The Local Authority Home Loan (LAHL) Scheme is for the purchase of new or second-hand residential properties and self-builds. It also includes the purchase of homes through State schemes such as the Tenant Purchase Scheme and Affordable Housing Schemes, with the exception of the First Home Scheme.
Regulations have been introduced to give effect to the new loan. The Housing Loans Regulations 2021 (S.I. No. 701 of 2021) took effect on 4th January 2022. A copy of the Housing Loans Regulations 2021 can be found here
As of 4th January 2022, applications for the RIHL will no longer be accepted; all new applications must be for the LAHL.
The Local Authority Home Loan will replace the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RIHL). The Housing Loans Regulations (S.I. No. 701 of 2021) therefore revoke the Housing (Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans) Regulations (S.I. No. 25 of 2018). However, the LAHL Regulations also contain a saver clause to the effect that any loan applications in progress/approvals outstanding under the previous RIHL Regulations is unaffected by the repeal.
The main features and operational processes of the LAHL include;
- provides up to 90% of the market value of a property
- the maximum loan amount is €225,000 in Mayo
- the maximum loan term is 30 years
- the loan is a normal capital and interest-bearing mortgage
- it is repaid on a monthly basis by direct debit
- Currently, there are two rate options. Fixed rate of 2.495% up to 25 years (APR 2.52%) or Fixed rate of 2.745% up to 30 years (APR 2.78%)
To qualify for a Local Authority Home Loan, applicants must:
- be a first-time buyer, with the exception of applicants qualifying under the Fresh Start Principle (see below for clarification)
- be aged between 18 and 70 years
- a single applicant must earn less than €50,000 annual gross income
- joint applicants must earn less than €75,000 annual gross income combined
- provide proof of insufficient mortgage offer from two regulated financial providers
- be in continuous employment for a minimum of two years as primary earner and a minimum of one year as secondary earner (if self-employed be able to submit two years certified accounts)
- intend to occupy the property as their normal place of residence
- currently have a legal right to reside and work in the State and be able to demonstrate that they are habitually resident in Ireland
The following changes from the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan should be noted.
· A 'Fresh Start' principle also applies to the Local Authority Home Loans Scheme. This means that people who are divorced, legally separated/separated or the relationship has ended and have no financial interest in the family home are eligible to apply under this scheme. People who have undergone personal insolvency/bankruptcy proceedings will also be eligible to apply for the Local Authority Home Loans Scheme
· Removes the limitation of 175 sq. metres on the size of a property that can be purchased or self-built.
A dedicated website www.localauthorityhomeloan.ie, related documents and online mortgage calculator for borrowers has been developed for the LAHL by the Housing Agency.
All enquiries on the LAHL can be made at any of Mayo County Council offices.
Loans are available for the reconstruction, repair and improvement of houses:
• The property must be currently habitable and must be the applicant’s primary place of residence.
• The property must be suitable for reconstruction, repair and improvement.
• Income Limits: In the case of a sole applicant the gross annual income should not exceed €50,000.00 and for a joint application €75,000.00
• The amount of the loan cannot exceed €38,000.00
• A variable interest rate applies
An application form for a loan for reconstruction, repair of improvement of a dwelling is available to download here.