Frustration mounts among Credit Unions on funding Social Housing

A sense of frustration has been voiced by credit unions. This is due to what they describe as the abject failure of regulators and also the government on the issue of making changes. These changes will permit them to fund a number of social housing programs. It is believed that if the credit unions have their way, about one billion euros will be stumped up by the lenders in the first phase. The amount will ultimately be five billion euros over a period of time. The money will be used to fund home construction activities.

Non-even playing field

Rules of Central Bank and the legislative restrictions mean that the credit unions are limited to competing for less than the 10 percent of the total lending market. Ed Farrell, the Chief Executive of Irish League of Credit Unions, answered to the committee that the credit unions are getting frustrated at seemingly zero progress.

The credit unions provided enough hints to let everyone know that the government has snubbed their funding offer. They, however, told Oireachtas Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee that the Central Bank along with Department of Finance have still not implemented any kind of changes. These changes will permit the credit unions to fund the social housing activities. The government has taken such a step-motherly step despite chronic shortage of housing.

Doubts about actual action

Brian McCrory, the league president, put forward the question as to why it was taking such a long period of time to make the changes. The changes will permit the credit unions to fund all social housing activities. He reminded everyone that the previous government has asked for help in 2014 when it came to funding housing strategies. He said that changes must be implemented by Department of Finance and Central Bank to facilitate all this. McCrory asserted that interest in funding has been shown by Department of Finance. It is believed that the department are in discussions with Central Bank. He said that he has no doubt that such discussions are being had, and added that there is a doubt in his mind that any action will actually be taken as a result.

The committee was informed that credit unions have consented to pool a few of their extra funds. They will be put into central vehicle and help to fund the housing activities. Politicians were informed that rules are binding the credit unions. Such rules puts them at a disadvantage when competing with banks.

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