Just 13 home loans were given out in two years under a government mortgage scheme to provide funding for first time buyers who had been previously been turned down by banks.
New figures show that nine out of 10 people who applied to the Home Choice scheme were turned away.
Commenting on the figures, a spokesman for the Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency confirmed that just 13 out of 140 applications have been accepted in the past two years.
Around €2.5m in mortgages have been issued despite a €500m fund being put in place for the project.
But the spokesman insisted that the situation seemed worse than it was because many of those who applied for a mortgage did not meet the lending criteria.
The scheme was put in place in 2008 by the last government to provide a home loan for those who have been turned down by mainstream lenders.
Now, mortgage experts have called for a massive overhaul of Home Choice, which they said could play a vital role in helping potential buyers at a time when banks were reluctant to lend.
MyHome.ie blogger Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers described the scheme as “not fit for purpose” and a “failure”.
The housing agency said it had no plans to change its strict criteria.
To get a Home Choice loan you have to have had two mortgage refusals from mainstream lenders. A single person must be earning more than €35,000, with a joint income of at least €45,000 for a couple.
The most that can be borrowed is €285,000.