Ignoring mortgage arrears crisis is not going to make it go away
We Irish have a long-standing love affair with home ownership - at one stage, 25 years ago, up to 80pc of households owned their own home, though this figure has fallen every year since then.
For some, however, the dream of ownership has become a nightmare as they now find themselves in serious mortgage arrears. The psychological stress of being in arrears and knowing that you might lose your home is immensely difficult. The Housing Agency identifies the mortgage arrears problem as a continuing critical issue.
There are currently about 880,000 residential mortgages in Ireland - 743,700 are on principal private dwellings and 136,295 are on buy-to-let properties. Most of these mortgages are unproblematic; however, there are a substantial number in significant difficulty. Within this cohort of people who find themselves in mortgage arrears, there are many who are extremely vulnerable.