75% of applications made under the Local Authority Home Loan in Kerry were refused last year.
The Local Authority Home Loan is a Government-backed mortgage for first time buyers and fresh start applicants.
Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Cahill raised the issue at the monthly meeting of Kerry County Council, seeking reasons as to why so many applications were refused.
The Local Authority Home Loan can be used to purchase a new or second-hand property or for self-build, and provides up to 90% of the market value of the property; the maximum loan amount is determined by where the property is located.
The Housing Agency provides a central support service that assesses applications on behalf of local authorities and it makes recommendations to approve or refuse applications.
Last year, Kerry County Council’s Credit Committee considered 52 applications; 39 were refused and 13 approved.
Of the 39 refused applications, eight were appealed by the applicants and the decision to decline was upheld by the appeals committee in all eight cases.
Cllr Michael Cahill asked the council to write to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to seek reasons as to why 75% were declined; he says it needs to be explained why Kerry has an approval rate of 24% versus the national average of 42%.
The council says an application may be declined for a number of reasons with the repayment capacity not being demonstrated as the most common reason last year, in 23 of the 39 applications refused.
That was followed by the net income ratio being outside of policy and this was the case in 20 of the refused applications, while an unsatisfactory savings record was the third most common reason and happened in 17 cases.