Tuesday 24 April 2018

Council plan to take homes off 135 families

Dublin City Council is set to repossess houses
Dublin City Council is set to repossess houses
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The country's largest local authority plans to complete 135 repossessions over the next three years, despite the ongoing homelessness crisis.

Dublin City Council has said it is prepared to spend €23m on repossessing the homes, many of which have generated extensive arrears.

A further 180 mortgages provided by the council will revert to 'mortgage to rent' packages, which will allow occupants to remain in their homes. Council bosses have also contacted the Department of the Environment in a bid to secure additional funding for the turnaround of dozens of empty properties in the capital.

According to figures supplied by the council, a total of 314 mortgages are deemed to be "unsustainable".

Some 108 tenants are underpaying the full instalment, while 77 are not making any repayments whatsoever.

Council officials have agreed to restructure 106 loans into interest-only facilities. The remaining 20 tenants are paying full instalments, however, the loans are still deemed to be unsustainable.

But despite the homeless problem in Dublin, the city council says it still intends to complete 135 repossessions over the next three years.

"The 135 would consist of properties which generally have extensive arrears and would be a combination of abandoned property, voluntary surrenders and repossessions where all efforts at resolution have failed," a council spokeswoman said.

It is envisaged that these units will be taken into social housing stock, according to the council. There are currently 120 demands for repossessions at various stages.

Sinn Fein housing spokesman Dessie Ellis said he is concerned the council is adopting an "aggressive approach" with families struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments.

"Repossession must be the last resort because any attempt to put people out of their homes is not the right strategy," the Dublin North-West TD said.

"I would call on any local authority to strike deals with those in arrears so that they can remain in their homes at virtually all costs," he added.

Irish Independent

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