independent

Monday 26 August 2019

Mortgage to rent scheme limit updated

Eimear Dodd

Homeowners in significant mortgage distress in Wicklow have been given fresh hope after the county's upper housing valuation limit for the mortgage-to-rent (MTR) scheme was increased to €395,000.

This €30,000 rise from the previous valuation limit of €365,000 means more homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes due to mortgage arrears scheme may now reach the expanded threshold for the the scheme.

However, the upper limit on valuation for apartments remains at the same level of €310,000, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government confirmed.

'This sends a message out to those in financial trouble that there is a way back and by increasing the threshold, the Government is showing it believes mortgage-to-rent is a scheme that can work for all sides,' said Bray man Paul Cunningham, CEO of Home For Life, a MTR operator.

The MTR scheme aims to keep owners with unsustainable housing loan debt in their current homes as long-term tenants of their local authority.

It lets homeowners in significant mortgage difficulty switch from owning their home to renting their home as social housing tenants subject to meeting the criteria of the scheme. The MTR scheme is a social housing option only available if the homeowner is eligible for social housing support and their mortgage is unsustainable.

The scheme is overseen by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and is administered by the Housing Agency.

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English, said the changes would enable more properties to qualify for the scheme. The Minister also welcomed the rise in the number of mortgage-to-rent cases completing.

'This confirms that the scheme is a good solution to unsustainable mortgage arrears and one that is being recognised as such by the borrowers,' said Minister English.

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