Written answers

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Local Authority Housing Mortgages

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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420. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if information (details supplied) will be provided in tabular form. [30275/19]

Photo of Eoghan MurphyEoghan Murphy (Dublin Bay South, Fine Gael)
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Data in respect of local authority house purchase loans for the period 2000 to Q1 2019, local authority mortgage arrears for the period 2000 to 2018 and information in relation to local authority repossessions of properties for the period 2005 to 2018 that were financed using a local authority home loan and which are now either repossessed, voluntarily surrendered or abandoned is available on my Department's website at the following link: . This data is broken down by local authority area.

The number of forced repossessions by local authorities is low. Repossession is always the last option and local authorities have shown extensive forbearance over the years in refraining from legal pursuit of housing loan arrears. It is inevitable that a small proportion of loans may be deemed unsustainable, by both the local authority and the borrower. In these circumstances, the borrower may opt to voluntarily surrender the house to the local authority, thereby avoiding unnecessary legal and disposal fees. The local authority will also explore the possibility of Voluntary Sale or Local Authority Mortgage to Rent (LAMTR) with a borrower where a mortgage has been deemed unsustainable.

In this regard, it is of note that 435 houses have been dealt with under the Local Authority Mortgage to Rent Scheme from its introduction in 2013 to end 2018. Under the scheme, a local authority can acquire ownership of properties with unsustainable local authority mortgages, thus enabling the household to remain in their home as a social housing tenant. It should be noted that the absence of a Mortgage to Rent scheme for local authority borrowers with unsustainable mortgages would have led to an increase in the repossession statistics. Information on the number and cost of LAMTR cases completed in the period 2013 to 2018, broken down by local authority area, is available on my Department's website at the aforementioned link under the heading "Local Authority Mortgage to Rent".

Repossessed units suitable for social housing are transferred into social housing stock – suitability (or otherwise) is determined by the local authority and considerations would include the location and suitability of each property, in terms of social housing need. Any units that are not considered suitable for social housing can be put to the open market for sale. The funding arrangement for transferring these units into social housing stock covers the lower of the amount owed by the borrower, or the current market value of the property, with some funding also for improvement works where required, to ensure the property is available for early re-letting.

It is considered that the bulk of repossessed properties have been transferred to permanent SH stock since 2013. The table (Table 1) sets out the LA areas where funding has been provided to transfer repossessed units into permanent stock.

To support local authorities in dealing with the shortfalls that arise through LAMTR cases and repossessions, or voluntary surrenders, the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process Premium Fund was established in 2012. This fund is centrally held by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to support the costs arising for local authorities in dealing with unsustainable cases and is contributed to by all local authorities through the application of a MARP premium to all existing and new loans. Allocations from the MARP Premium Fund are managed by a dedicated Adjudication Panel consisting of local authority personnel.

Table: Capital funding provided to local authorities for the bringing into stock of repossessed and surrendered properties

Local AuthorityFunding provided since 2013 to date
Cork City€126,518
Cork County€1,840,197
Dublin City€22,003,066
Galway City€156,103
Galway County€668,848
Limerick City and County€80,000
South Dublin€651,067
Waterford City and County€309,612


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