Wednesday 17 July 2019

Hundreds of families at risk of losing their home will avoid eviction

IMHO and iCare’s David Hall. Picture: Tony Gavin
IMHO and iCare’s David Hall. Picture: Tony Gavin
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Hundreds of homeowners are set to avoid eviction through a new mortgage-to-rent scheme.

The joint initiative between AIB, the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO) and iCare aims to save customers with mortgage difficulties from losing their home.

The enhanced mortgage-to-rent scheme has so far had 571 cases approved with a further 250 proposed cases, and another 19 completed in full.

Eligible customers, who have completed the process and qualify for social housing, will continue to live in their homes as long-term tenants of iCare Housing.

They can also buy back the property from iCare Housing at a discounted price.

AIB Corporate Finance has acted as financial adviser to the IMHO and iCare on the enhanced mortgage-to-rent scheme for the last year to identify, prepare and deliver a commercial funding package.

Jim O'Keeffe, AIB's chief customer and strategic affairs officer, said: "AIB in championing this initiative with IMHO and iCare recognised the need to provide solutions for customers who cannot afford their mortgage.

"The scale of the response has been significant and reassures customers who engage with us that we will work hard to find a suitable solution. Overall we have circa 90,000 solutions in place, which has played a key part in bringing our non-performing exposures to €7.2bn. We encourage customers to engage meaningfully with us and provide us the opportunity to seek a solution to their financial difficulty."

David Hall, CEO of the IMHO and iCare, said the scheme would provide a "sustainable" solution to the current social crisis.

"This is a ground-breaking example of the private sector and the housing charity sector coming together to provide a practical sustainable solution to an acute social crisis.

"The purchase of 19 homes and approved status of 571 additional houses for mortgage to rent will ensure that circa 2,000 Irish citizens will not become another statistic," he said.

"Instead, after a long journey, (the) announcement is a case of promises made, promises kept," he added.

AIB Corporate Banking has provided an initial €15m term loan facility to iCare for the purchase of housing from mortgage holders.

Ultimately, iCare leases the property back to the occupants on a long lease, ensuring the former owners that were at risk of losing their home can stay in it long term and pay an affordable rent.

Irish Independent

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