Damien English welcomes Home For Life as a new participant in the Mortgage to Rent Scheme

Damien English welcomes Home For Life Ltd to the Mortgage to Rent scheme

Damien English welcomes Home For Life Ltd to the Mortgage to Rent scheme

Minister Damien English, today (4th July) welcomed Home For Life Ltd. as a new participant in the Mortgage to Rent scheme, where they will work in tandem with local authorities as landlords providing a long term solution for those in mortgage distress.  Today’s announcement coincides with the launch by the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government and the Housing Agency of a dedicated mortgage to rent website, www.mortgagetorent.ie to boost awareness of the scheme.

The inclusion of Home For Life follows a public process, led by the Housing Agency, seeking suitably qualified parties in the private sector interested in entering into long term lease arrangements with local authorities for the provision of accommodation to MTR eligible households.

Under this model, Home For Life will acquire properties from lenders subsequent to their voluntary surrender by eligible borrowers who are in mortgage arrears, and who require longterm State assistance in meeting their housing needs. Borrowers simultaneously enter into a tenancy arrangement with their local authority enabling the borrower to remain living in their home as a social housing tenant paying an affordable rent to their local authority.

Speaking earlier today, Minister English said “I’d like to congratulate Home For Life for taking this initiative and participating in the MTR scheme. This new approach to Mortgage to Rent is a significant step towards enabling the scheme to operate at scale to meet the needs of more borrowers in mortgage distress. Subject to successful delivery of an initial tranche of cases by Home For Life, I am more than happy to see Home For Life proceed to implement the scheme and assist a far greater number of MTR cases using this alternatively funded long-term lease model with local authorities”.

Speaking of the Government’s commitment to supporting those in long term mortgage arrears, he reiterated the determination to address mortgage arrears to support households to remain in their homes and avoid additional pressures on the rental or social housing sectors. While the number of borrowers in long term mortgage arrears is declining, the Minister referred to his particular concern that there are borrowers in long term mortgage arrears of more than two years who are not engaging with the available State supports. In this regard Minister English noted that “The MTR scheme is a real option for borrowers with unsustainable mortgages who are eligible for social housing and who cannot meet their own housing needs without the State supporting them.  MTR represents a good solution to what is a complex problem”.

To increase borrowers’ awareness and understanding of MTR a new dedicated mortgage to rent website, www.mortgagetorent.ie, has been developed by the Department together with the Housing Agency with input from the Abhaile Service and the Insolvency Service of Ireland. The website complements other improvements that have been made to the MTR scheme following a review of the scheme in February 2017.

The website provides clear, user-friendly information on the MTR scheme specifically directed at borrowers.  It can be used as a single reference tool for borrowers to ascertain if they are eligible for the scheme and how to apply for the scheme.  The website also highlights the State supports available to borrowers to find a solution to home mortgage arrears including the key roles being played by the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), the Abhaile Service and the Insolvency.

Welcoming the new website, Minister English said “the Government’s message is clear.  Help is available to borrowers with distressed mortgages at risk of losing their homes.  Borrower engagement is, however, critical and I would urge borrowers to access the new MTR website to aid their awareness of and understanding of the scheme and to find out how to take the next step”.

“The Government’s message is clear.  Help is available to borrowers with distressed mortgages at risk of losing their homes.