Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central and member of the Oireachtas Housing Committee, Thomas Gould TD, has today written to the committee requesting hearings on the Mortgage-to-Rent scheme.
The request comes following a response to a Parliamentary Question he received confirming that the pilot scheme has ended and a revised scheme is now open for expressions of interest from private, and not-for-profit, organisations.
Teachta Gould said:
“The Mortgage-to-Rent Scheme is a vital lifeline for families and individuals in mortgage distress. When operated properly, it allows people to remain in their home and become social housing tenants.
“When discussions were initiated on adding a private to-lease operator to the scheme, Sinn Féin raised concerns about this. Unfortunately these were ignored.
“I have also raised serious issues previously with the operation of the scheme as local authorities and AHBs took on less and less of these mortgages and it was instead left to a private, for-profit organisation to take up the slack.
“The new revised scheme needs to move away from the model of long-term leasing which sees local authorities pay the mortgage for a home but ultimately a private operator own the home after 25 years.
“This could also create a difficult situation for tenants who are not entitled to remain in their home after the lease ends. Long-term leasing represents bad value for money and is a system we must move away from.
“Alongside the process, serious concerns have been raised about the previous pilot scheme and issues with housing maintenance. These resulted in the suspension of the previous operator from the scheme. We have no clear indication of how serious these issues are or whether agreement has been made in resolving them.
“The Department of Housing must come before the Oireachtas Housing Committee and provide clarity on these issues and answers on the plans to resolve them.”