Over 1,100 homes across Louth in mortgage arrears
More than 1,100 distressed mortgage holders in Louth are being offered a solution thanks to a State-backed finance scheme.
New figures from the Central Bank's Long-Term Mortgage Arrears in Ireland Report state that 1,155 households in Louth are in mortgage arrears for over two years while over 900 of those have been in arrears for at least five years.
Despite the scale of the repayment problem by mortgage holders, figures from the Department of Housing show that only 33 households in the county availed of the Government's Mortgage To Rent scheme.
A Government-approved mortgage to rent provider Home For Life (HFL) is spearheading a drive to enable mortgage holders in unsustainable debt to stay in their current homes debt-free as long-term tenants of their local authority. HFL say that there is a strong possibility that they can come up with a solution in many cases of serious mortgage arrears. The company works with homeowners, lenders and the local authority to keep unsustainable mortgage holders in their current homes, avoiding upheaval for families. Under the scheme, a property is sold to Home For Life and then leased back to the State through the local authority which, in turn, sublets the house or apartment back to the homeowner. The homeowner pays an affordable income-based rent to their local authority.
As part of the scheme in Louth, the local authority would then undertake to provide for the ongoing long-term housing needs of the applicant and other eligible residents of the property for as long as their housing need exists.
At a HFL advisory board meeting this week, Fr Peter McVerry said he was in favour' of any initiative that keeps people in their homes.
'I fully support projects that help to resolve mortgage arrears and stop people becoming homeless,' said Fr McVerry.