Mortgage report puts forward real option for struggling homeowners – Deering

12th October, 2011


Fine Gael TD for Carlow, Pat Deering, has said that the report on mortgage arrears published by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, this morning puts forward real options for homeowners struggling to stay afloat.

“The mortgage arrears crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing the country. The Government is acutely aware of this, and it is committed to helping those in real difficulties remaining in their homes where possible. We must also distinguish between those who cannot pay, and those who refuse to pay. Today’s report goes along way in addressing these challenges.

“It is important to state that the report does not advocate blanket debt forgiveness. Any suggestion of this kind was always going to be overly simplistic and unrealistic. We cannot ask people to pay their neighbour’s debts.

“I welcome the fact that the report recognises that it needs to be acknowledged that some mortgages are unsustainable, and short term measures are not sufficient to address these cases. A number of proposals have been put forward in this regard, such as trade down mortgages, or sale by agreement.

“The proposal on the introduction of two ‘mortgage to rent’ social housing schemes will be acted on immediately, with the Housing Minister due to launch two pilot schemes shortly. Under the schemes, households in extreme mortgage distress who are eligible for social housing will be able to stay in their homes as social housing tenants.

“I am encouraged that Minister Noonan has instructed the Department of Finance to begin talks with the banks to ensure the speedy implementation of the measures in the report. The banks have a real responsibility to find a way to make these proposals a reality. We need to reduce the pressure that people are feeling in their everyday lives. I expect a full debate to be held on the report next week, and I look forward to hearing the views of my Dáil colleagues on its contents.”