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More action needed on distressed shared ownership mortgages – Ellis

28 April, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the government to take action to tackle distressed shared ownership mortgages. He said that previous government measures had not had a strong enough effect and had been too inaccessible. He made his comments during a debate on the mortgage crisis in the Dáil this evening.

Deputy Ellis said:

“16500 Shared ownership arrangements were entered into across the state.

“The tenant or mortgage holder generally intended to buy out the other half within a few years, but with the boom this became impossible.

“The collapse which followed the boom saw many shared ownership mortgage holders lose their jobs or see a serious reduction in their income.

“A lot of Shared Ownership mortgages have now gone into arrears. Many families were afraid they would lose their home; some thankfully have managed to make use of the all to narrow Mortgage to Rent Scheme.

“Last year, it was announced that 20 million euro would be made available to bring Shared Ownerships which were distressed into the process for Mortgage to Rent.

“As of last month, just 88 Mortgage to Rent arrangements had been completed. These 88 have all been taken over by Approved Housing Bodies. Speaking to people in DCC, it does a handful have but not a large proportion of those in distress.

“With thousands of Shared Ownership schemes in trouble and 1 year on from the announcement of the 20 million fund, it would seem not enough have been able or encouraged to take up this process.

“Local Authorities should be funded to take full control of these homes buying out the half owned by the resident and renting it to them as done under the Mortgage to Rent Scheme.

“The Mortgage to Rent scheme must also be prioritised and residents who are in distress must be made aware of the scheme and guided through it.

“We also must also look at freezing or reducing rents for Share Ownerships in order to give some relief to people who have lost their job or have a reduced income and are able to make mortgage payments but are struggling with regularly rising rent also.” 

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