Deputy Broughan recently asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, to report on how many abhaile scheme vouchers had been issued since the introduction of the scheme by county. Abhaile is a free service provided to people in mortgage arrears and “its aim is to help mortgage holders in arrears to find the best solutions and keep them, wherever possible, in their own homes”. Abhaile is administered through MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
The reply stated that “under Abhaile, borrowers who are insolvent and in home mortgage arrears on their home, are provided with voucher(s) to access independent expert financial and/or legal advice and assistance, best suited to their individual home mortgage arrears situation. As at the beginning of December 2018, 14,620 vouchers for services have issued, in respect of 7,777 principle private residences”.
Abhaile was established in 2016 and figures in the reply to the Parliamentary Question show that mortgage holders in Dublin (2,337), Cork, (1,674), Meath (1,248) and Louth (1,022) have accessed the highest number of vouchers during this time, down to the beginning of December 2018. Galway, Kildare, Wexford and Tipperary also have high numbers of vouchers issued at 756, 757, 570 and 509 respectively.
Deputy Broughan says “The mortgage arrears crisis is a section of the Housing and Homeless crisis that often gets overlooked, probably because of the legal issues ongoing with trying to keep your home and restructure your payments. The high number of Abhaile vouchers issued in just two years is quite alarming and there have been warnings, including from the Master of the High Court, Edward Honohan and David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association of a wave of repossessions that could be seen. There are so many facets to our current Housing crisis and the Government hasn’t been able to grasp and address any of them – mortgage arrears, rental crisis, lack of affordable housing and increasing homelessness are the legacies of this Fine Gael government.”
|County||Number of Abhaile Vouchers Issued
as at Dec 2018