Just eight families have benefited from a Government “mortgage to rent” initiative launched a year ago, aimed at helping houseowners in serious mortage distress.
The scheme allows mortgage-holders to surrender their homesto a housing agency, who in turn rent it to the original owners.
It was billed by the Government at its launch as a way of providing “certainty and security for families who face the imminent prospection of repossession of their family home”.
Latest figures published in today’s Irish Times show that sales have been agreed on 20 properties and eight of these sales have been completed.
In the meantime, the number of people falling behind on their mortgages continues to grow. The Central Bank estimates that about 94,000 householders are three months or more behind on their repayments.
The Government insists, however, that the number of people who will benefit from the scheme will grow over the remainder of the year.
“Mortgage to rent or other such interventions cannot be rushed for any party,” a spokesman for Minister for Housing Jan O’Sullivan said.
“For example, the process provides a 60-day decision period and a 28-day cooling off period within the timeframe of the scheme.”
The Department has budgeted for 250 homes taking part in the mortgage to rent scheme during 2013, though it is unlikely this figure will be reached based on current trends.
It now forecasts that in excess of 25 cases will be completed by the end of the first quarter of this year.
The department estimates it will take up to eight months to complete a transaction. It said this compared favourably to other jurisdictions operating similar schemes.
Source: Carl O’Brien/The Irish Times