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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Mortgage holders who give up homes in arrears will be allowed on housing lists

If homeowners go through the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process, they will be allowed apply for social housing, Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan has confirmed.

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MORTGAGE HOLDERS WHO go through the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process and find that their payments are still too high can join local authority housing lists, it has been confirmed.

The Minister of State at the Department of Environment Jan O’Sullivan told the Dáil that once the process has been exhausted, homeowners who voluntarily surrender their homes can apply to councils for housing.

Independent TD Patrick Nulty had asked if those who surrender would be considered for social housing.

O’Sullivan said:

“For a household to qualify for social housing support, a housing authority must carry out an assessment to establish whether the household is in need of housing and meet s certain eligibility criteria, including income limits.

As part of a concerted effort to deal with the issue of mortgage arrears, the Social Housing Assessment Regulations were amended in 2011 to provide that a household may be determined to be in need of housing if it has a mortgage that is deemed to be unsustainable under the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process.

One housing official said that it is “difficult to say” if the mortgage arrears crisis has had an impact on housing lists yet, but with the Personal Insolvency Service beginning to deal with distressed borrowers, it is likely that there will be more people looking for alternative housing.

It is difficult to say that distressed mortgages have led to increase the applicants on housing lists to a great extent. Certainly for some applicants that is the main reason, but we don’t have stats on it at this time.

Read: Honohan: Banks threatened repossession in 62 per cent of ‘sustainable solutions’

Read: Work to do on mortgage restructuring as long-term arrears remain high

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