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Mortages denied for affordable houses

PEOPLE looking for mortgages to buy affordable houses at the Glaise na Rinne affordable housing development are being denied them, this week’s meeting of Shannon Town Council heard.

The meeting heard the controversial development, which has been in the pipeline for over five years, is just about finished. The council is likely to take possession of the houses this week or next.

In a written update to the council on the development, town manager Bernadette Kinsella stated that all internal works to the dwelling houses are now complete. Site works are largely complete although works to public lighting columns are outstanding. Works to remaining zinc canopies are due to be completed by the weekend.

Her report also stated 10 completed applications have been received, while four houses have been booked/selected by successful applicants. Two of the sales are going for council approval at the local authority’s September meeting, with sales due to close shortly thereafter. The other two applications are pending, awaiting mortgage approval.

Additional information has yet to be received regarding one application, while one application was ineligible, while one offer was not taken up.

Three applications were withdrawn due to difficulties in securing a mortgage.

Councillor Patricia McCarthy said people are having a lot of trouble getting mortgages, despite having been paying rents of €500 to €700 a month for several years.

She said some of the people who have been unable to secure mortgages have excellent credit ratings and asked if there was anything the council could do to accommodate them.

Ms Kinsella said the council can act as a lender of last resort and if people are refused by two lenders, they can then apply to the county council.

She said the council is meeting with applicants and there is a person designated to deal with queries.
Councillor Tony McMahon said people should go to the appropriate office if they feel they have been unfairly treated by the banks. “There is a credit review office, people should avail of the service to ensure they are fairly dealt with.”

Fine Gael Councillor Sean McLoughlin asked if someone wanted to get a step-down unit, would it be possible to obtain it before the sale of their own house.

In response, Ms Kinsella said the council would allow “a reasonable amount of time” but that the houses had been advertised more than once and that people who were interested, had given an indication of that some time ago.

Councillor Gerry Flynn asked if the councillors can now say the development is finished, noting that it had been “a frustrating contract”.

He also said there are five-bedroom houses on the market for €150,000, while the houses at Glaise na Rinne are being sold for €120,000, with claw-back terms in the event of a sale.

Ms Kinsella said the council is satisfied a certificate of completion will be issued and possession of the scheme will be taken.

She said after that, the council will hold retention funds for one year, a time when previously undetected snags may come to light.


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