Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government Brian Stanley TD has challenged the government to provide assistance for 9,000 families in arrears with their local authority mortgages.
Deputy Stanley was speaking today after a he received information in a reply to a Dáil Parliamentary Question which showed that almost four in every ten affordable and shared ownership loans are in arrears.
Deputy Stanley said: “Almost four out of ten loans received through local authorities to purchase houses are now in arrears for more than 90 days. This compares with one in twelve in the private market. This was confirmed in a response to a Dáil question which confirmed that 38.9% of all affordable and shared ownership loans are in arrears. This is causing huge distress to families who fear they will be losing their home and in turn causing financial problems for the local authorities in question.
“The government gave a commitment in the Programme for Government to tackle mortgage distress. Yet the Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore failed again to give any commitment to introduce legislation to provide support for those in arrears with local authority mortgages.
“The Tánaiste claimed legislation will be introduced but only for those with mortgages from private financial institutions. Initially, on October 6th, former Housing Minister Willie Penrose stated that ‘there is no evidence to suggest wider economic circumstances are creating problems specifically for local authority borrowers.’
“I think todays facts clearly indicate that there is very much a crisis within local authority mortgages and it needs to be dealt with immediately.
“I intend to raise this issue directly with Minister for Environment & Local Government Phil Hogan until a just and fair resolution is introduced to provide financial support for these thousands of distressed families.”