€108m loans approved by Home Building Finance Ireland

€108m loans approved by Home Building Finance Ireland

The State-backed lender for small and medium builders and developers approved loans worth €108m in its first year of operation.

Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) was established in Jan 2019 with a fund of €750m from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund with the aim of facilitating the construction of up to 7,500 homes over the next five years.

Some 17 schemes were approved in 12 counties in its first year of operation, including developments of more than 50 houses in Cork, and Kerry, and two developments of over 70 homes in Kildare.

In total, some 537 residential units were approved, with 15 of the 17 schemes located outside Dublin. Construction has started on just five of the approved schemes.

The figures were included in HBFI's first annual report. Dara Deering, HBFI CEO, said it is "a good start" but there is more to do:

"The solution for the housing market remains one of increasing supply and HBFI will do what we can to ensure that funding is available for commercially viable projects."

Marie Collins, HBFI chairwoman, said the coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on housing development. At the start of the year, an estimated 25,000 homes were due to be finished in 2020. This has now been revised to 14,000.

Ms Collins said: "Covid-19 has brought significant uncertainty to all sectors, including the residential construction sector.

"We are working with all our customers to support them during this challenging time and with our stakeholders to position HBFI to be ready to play our part in supporting home building in Ireland as we move to recovery and growth."

Meanwhile, new Housing Minister, Darragh O'Brien, said he will ensure that Rebuilding Ireland home loan mortgages are not paused because of the pandemic.

The scheme is a Government-backed loan for first-time buyers available from local authorities.

Mr O'Brien was speaking to Newstalk after revelations that major lenders are imposing broad restrictions on lending in light of the pandemic, including a de facto ban on mortgage lending to those in receipt of State wage subsidies.

He said he is concerned at the “blanket nature” of the banks' response which does not take into consideration the specific circumstances of many mortgage applicants.

More on this topic

Sinn Féin labels government housing plans 'lame' with health and housing back on the agendaSinn Féin labels government housing plans 'lame' with health and housing back on the agenda

Housing charity claims illegal evictions ongoing during Covid-19 outbreakHousing charity claims illegal evictions ongoing during Covid-19 outbreak

Irish Examiner View: Showing the wayIrish Examiner View: Showing the way

Munster sees biggest fall in property prices in past yearMunster sees biggest fall in property prices in past year

More in this Section

Donohoe has 50/50 chance of getting top Eurogroup job, says MEPDonohoe has 50/50 chance of getting top Eurogroup job, says MEP

Gyms in Northern Ireland set to reopen following Covid-19 lockdownGyms in Northern Ireland set to reopen following Covid-19 lockdown

Mary Lou McDonald settles with ex-Fianna Fáil TD over alleged defamatory tweetMary Lou McDonald settles with ex-Fianna Fáil TD over alleged defamatory tweet

CAB seize over €66k in cash and a car as part of investigation into crime groupCAB seize over €66k in cash and a car as part of investigation into crime group


Lifestyle

Is there a natural treatment I could use instead of steroids and antibiotic drops for dry eye?Natural health: I suffer from chronic dry eye

Denise O’Donoghue checks in with several expats affected by the cancellation of shows in BritainIrish actors on the crisis the West End theatre industry faces

This month marks four decades since the release of the classic record that would also be Ian Curtis’s final album with Joy Division. Ed Power chats to a number of Cork music fans about what it meant to themJoy Division: Forty years on from Closer

Last week, I shared my lockdown experience. I asked for a more uniform approach, should there be another lockdown. I explained that I worked mornings. Maybe I should have been more specific: working 8am to 1pm without a break, I gave feedback and covered the curriculum, using our school’s online platform. In the afternoons, I looked after my three kids (all under ten) while my husband worked. It was a challenging time for everyone and the uncertainty around what I should have been doing as a teacher made it harder.Diary of an Irish teacher: I want to get back to work. But I would like to do it safely

More From The Irish Examiner