Fine Gael Wicklow TD and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle has said the Mortgage To Rent Scheme will now be more accessible to households in Wicklow in mortgage distress.
The revised scheme will also offer participants the option to buy their home back after a period of five years if their financial situation improves.
Minister Doyle said: “Amendments are now being made to the scheme which will make the Mortgage to Rent process quicker, more transparent, easier to navigate for borrowers and ultimately, more accessible to more households in mortgage distress.
“The scheme will allow people in mortgage arrears to go from paying a mortgage to renting and remain living in their family home.
“The property price threshold for a house in Wicklow is being increased to €365,000 from €350,000; while the threshold for an apartment / townhouse in is being increased to €310,000 from €300,000.”
Participants in the scheme surrender possession of their home to the mortgage lender who immediately sells it to a housing association.
The property will then be rented back to the mortgage holder. While they no longer own the property, they can continue living in their home as a social housing tenant and will pay an income-related rent set by the Local Authority.
Minister Doyle said: “I would like to remind those in mortgage difficulty that this is a realistic and viable option.
“It offers peace of mind for the mortgage holder and their family to remain living in their home without disruption to their family life.
“The proceeds from the sale of the home to the Housing Association will go towards the mortgage debt and the mortgage holder will come to an arrangement with their lender for remaining debt, if any.
“There is also potential for participants to buy their home back after five years if they find themselves in a position to do so.”
At the end of 2016, 217 families remained in their home as a result of the scheme and a further 635 cases are actively reaching conclusion.