The county registrar in Kerry yesterday directed that county council housing officers be approached with a view to agreeing a “shared ownership” options on homes being repossessed.
The mortgagees could pay some of the mortgage, and granting an order for repossession of their homes would put them on the council’s already over-crowded social housing list and see them get rent supplement from the State, the registrar Padraig Burke noted.
Almost 5,000 people are on the housing list in Kerry, according to the county council. Mr Burke called for councils to be capitalised to enter into joint ownership schemes with people who had some capacity to pay.
Over 80 applications for repossession were before the monthly sitting of the possession court in Co Kerry.
Mr Burke called for the county council housing department to become involved with Permanent TSB in the case of a separated man who had taken out a mortgage for €46,300 for his Tralee home in 2001. He had lost his job and was living in the home with his 17-year-old son.
The monthly repayments were €270 but he had fallen into arrears of €15,449. The bank’s redemption figure was almost €75,000. “There are serious arrears here. We are applying for possession,” the bank’s solicitor said.
Now on a community employment scheme, the man would commit to a payment of €50 a week, his solicitor said, asking Mr Burke to give his client “one last chance”.
He had the capacity to pay two-thirds of what was owed and the council might consider a shared ownership agreement with the bank in this as in other cases.
“Maybe on the social housing side, local authorities might be capitalised to enter into shared ownership in this and other cases,” Mr Burke said.
He directed the council to be approached with a view to negotiating with the bank and the individual.
He made similar orders in other cases.
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