Council mortgages and Credit Union flexibility can address the serious situation of the ‘hidden homeless’. These are the individuals and couples who have jobs but have returned to live with parents – or never left – because they cannot get on the mortgage ladder nor do they qualify for Council houses.
We need more flexibility for people applying for Council mortgages. When couples are refused mortgages from two banks, they must be able to access a Council mortgage. The 10% deposit should be reduced to 5%, and all incomes and rent paid should be taken into account. It is astounding to learn that Government are attempting to increase interest rates for Council mortgages from 2% to 2.75% at a time when ECB rates are at historic lows.
I have asked the Central Bank time and time again to adjust their rules to enable Credit Unions to provide mortgages in order to meet the needs of people who are refused by banks. Surely, it is better to facilitate people to buy their own home rather than add to the over 10,000 people who are already homeless.
Government, in the ideal, would create solutions for this generation of citizens for whom home ownership is continuously out of reach. They haven’t.
Read the Sinn Féin Manifesto for Change: “Giving workers & families a break”