Where is Margaret Ritchies Mortgage Rescue plan?
Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast, Fra McCann, has called the Minister for Social Development to urgently bring forward her promise of a Mortgage Rescue Svcheme to help home owners in difficulty. This follows a steep rise in housing repossessions over the past year.
Speaking today Mr McCann said:
"This is an extremely worrying situation. In the space of a year repossession hearings in the courts have doubled. The Minister for Social Development should be proactively moving on strategies or mechanisms to help ease this crisis instead of directing blame at the Executive.
"Before the summer Margaret Ritchie promised a Mortgage Rescue scheme. We are now almost at Christmas and there is still no sign of it. The Minister needs to tell us now where her plans are at on this strategy.
"Some of this can be attributed to the global economic crisis, however factors such as developers super inflating prices with no real regulation and irresponsible lending by banks and mortgage lenders have aided to place homeowners under severe pressures.
"When we see economic downturn many people are left with massive amounts of negative equity on top of a greater cost of living leaving them in a vulnerable position
"We need to see from Margaret Ritchie as Minister for Social Development, viable and active strategies to deal with the many people facing repossession. For years Sinn Fein have argued for greater social housing projects. Many people who have had their homes repossessed will now be in need of social housing provision and this must be met by the Minister." ENDS