Thursday, 13 May 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
254. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 46 of 20 April, if a local authority can write off and or write down the outstanding equity balance on a shared ownership agreement in circumstances of financial hardship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25322/21]
As set out in the reply to Question No. 46 of 20 April 2021, I understand that Limerick City and County Council has offered a number of payment options available to the borrowers concerned. It is important that these borrowers now seek independent financial advice on this matter. Under relevant legislation, I am precluded from intervening in relation to individual cases.
To assist with the scenario outlined by the Deputy, a Shared Ownership Restructuring Option has been available to shared ownership borrowers since 1 April 2016.This new restructuring option involves rolling-up all outstanding debt into a single annuity loan with an all-sums-owing mortgage charge applying to the property. The term of the annuity loan will be determined by the amount of the monthly repayment deemed to be affordable and sustainable for each borrower. This restructuring option allows the borrower to have a regularised, restructured repayment solution which is more easily understood. This arrangement may be of particular benefit to those borrowers who are nearing the end of their annuity term but who have not made sufficient provision for the repayment of their Rental Equity balance. The feasibility of this new option for each borrower will be determined by their local authority, and may not be appropriate in all cases.
In terms of ongoing scheme arrangements it would be important that borrowers engage with their local authority and also seek independent financial advice and support.