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Urgent action required to assist mortgage holders

6 October, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

A Dublin TD has called for “urgent action” following a report from the ESRI that predicts that 35,000 people will be unable to pay their mortgages by next year. Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh said it was a “shocking indictment” of Government policies during the Celtic Tiger years.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh, “People who bought their homes at the height of the boom are not to blame for the situation they now find themselves in – struggling to maintain mortgages on what were at one stage hyper inflated properties. Todays ESRI report is a shocking indictment of Government policies during the Celtic Tiger years.

“The blame lies fairly and squarely at the feet of successive Fianna Fáil led governments and their friends in the financial and development sectors. And so it should be them who foot the bill for what will be an appalling tragedy for very many families.

“I would disagree with the ESRI’s suggestion that people who run in to difficulties should just have their mortgage rescheduled. For many people who have 35 or 40 year mortgages that is just not an option but it also doesn’t take in to account that the property is no longer worth anything like the cost of the mortgage.

“The banks who lent so recklessly and the developers who coined in the money at the height of the boom have to share in the pain. If people genuinely run in to difficulties in repaying mortgages then an option could be to reduce the cost of the mortgage more in line with the actual value of the home. At least in that way people can remain in their family home, the banks will get some return on their lending and a degree of stability can be brought in to the housing market with less properties being dumped on the market by banks.” ENDS

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