Minister idle as home repossession spiral out of control
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said that the Housing Minister Margaret Ritchie must do more to tackle the housing crisis after the latest figures from the Court Service revealed a 59% increase in the number of actions for mortgage default over the last year.
Mr McCann said:
"These latest figures require an urgent response. The housing market is in free-fall with prices falling and hundreds of people are being left with mortgages greater than the value of their homes.
"An increase of almost 60% in the numbers of people defaulting on the mortgages and the numbers of people having their homes repossessed because they cannot keep up with repayments is at crisis levels.
"There is no point claiming that there are initiatives in the pipeline if the Minister is then not actually going to do anything. We were promised a mortgage rescue scheme but in the 3 months April to June this year over 500 people had possessions orders made against them.
"Margaret Ritchie needs to get on with producing a scheme for mortgage relief to give hope to those who find themselves in severe difficulties.
"I have written once again to the minister asking her to produce the findings of her department following an announcement that a scheme was being put together to help people losing their homes due to the serious increases in mortgages repayments.
"In the first quarter of this year there was a 33% increase but now the latest figures show the increase of 60% in actions for mortgage repossessions and that is an upward trend. The minister needs to spell out if a scheme exists.
"It has been months since this relief scheme was announced but still nothing has been produced. Sinn Fein is ready to support the minister on this issue it but we need to actually hear what she is proposing." ENDS
Note to Editors
During the second quarter of 2008, 929 writs and originating summonses were issued. The comparable figure for the second quarter in 2007 was 584 showing a 59% increase in the number of mortgage cases received in Chancery against the same period in 2007.