Councillors critical of mortgage to rent scheme

Councillors were critical of the Government’s new mortgage-to-rent pilot scheme for distressed households.

Councillors were critical of the Government’s new mortgage-to-rent pilot scheme for distressed households.

The first mortgage to rent scheme deal which was completed last month saw a housing association take over a home owned by a family who were facing repossession by a bank. The family will now rent the home from the approved housing body Cluid.

However, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said she was opposed to private housing associations taking over the houses and said the local authorities should be buying them.

“There is a big writedown on the mortgage for the private housing association that takes over the loan, not for the person who is struggling financially.

“It’s a good scheme because it allows people to stay in their own homes, but that person will never be able to buy back their own home.

“The Local Authority should be buying back the houses.”

Cllr Fitzgerald said she was surpised that it was the Labour Minister, Jan O’Sullivan, bringing in such a scheme.

The Fianna Fail councillor said that although she supported the scheme, she felt the houses should go back to the Local Authority.

Labour Councillor Pat Bowe, said he accpeted Cllr Fitzgerald’s reading of the scheme.

“Under the current legislation the Local Authority is not permitted to take ownership of these houses. The legislation needs to be changed.”

Cllr Bowe said he supported the motion calling for a change to the scheme and he would talk to the Minister.

“It’s unjust and wrong,” he said.