To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of applications made since the introduction of the mortgage to rent scheme; the number of applications successfully granted since the introduction of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Since the introduction of the Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme in 2012, a total of 4,475 cases have been submitted under the scheme to the end of 2018. Of the 4,475 cases submitted, 3,043 were ineligible or terminated during the process. Of the remaining cases submitted, 445 have been completed, and the remaining 987 applications are being actively progressed.
The reasons why a case may not have progressed are varied and can depend on the household, the property, the ability of the Approved Housing Body (AHB) sector to increase its involvement in the scheme, the sale of the property not being agreed between the lender and AHB or a MTR application being withdrawn by either the lender or the borrower. The Housing Agency publishes, on a quarterly basis, detailed statistical information on the operation of the MTR scheme, which is available on the Agency's website at the following link:
A Review of the MTR scheme, published on 8 February 2017, introduced a range of amendments to the eligibility criteria and administration of the scheme in order to improve its operation. The Review, which is available at http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/changes-in-mortgage-to-rent-scheme/, explored the avenues and impediments to participation in the scheme and recommended a number of actions to make the scheme work better for borrowers. My Department and the Housing Agency are working with all stakeholders to ensure that the actions set out in the Review are being effectively implemented to benefit a greater number of households. The eligibility requirements of the scheme were widened to include a greater number of borrowers and a larger number of property types. Increasing awareness and understanding of the scheme has been a priority and a new website - www.mortgagetorent.ie - dedicated to guiding and advising borrowers has been developed. In addition, new structures and arrangements have been put in place to encourage a greater number of entities to take part in the scheme.
The implementation of the resulting actions from the Review means that MTR is available to provide a long-term solution for more households in mortgage distress, where appropriate.
Where MTR is not an option, it is a matter for the borrower to discuss with their lender if there are other options available to resolve their mortgage arrears situation. Likewise, the borrower, if eligible for social housing support, may also be able to consider other social housing options, including accessing the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).
The Abhaile service is a national mortgage arrears resolution service, provided free of charge to mortgage holders in arrears and its aim is to help these borrowers to find the best solutions and keep them, wherever possible, in their own homes. The unique element of Abhaile is that it brings together, for the first time, the full range of supports and services required by borrowers in home mortgage arrears. A dedicated adviser will work with the borrower and their lender to find the best solution for their particular situation. The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) acts as the gateway for the service and can be contacted by telephoning (076)1072000 or by accessing their website at: www.mabs.ie/abhaile
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