Repossession only puts people on social housing list, says Kerry Registrar

Wexford Rentals & Property Management has read in an article by Anne Lucey that joint house ownership with Council advanced as alternative to repossession.             

Wexford Rentals & Property Management has read that the Kerry County Registrar, Pádraig Burke, has said that County Council Housing Officers should be approached with a view to agreeing “shared ownership” options on homes which are being repossessed. The idea would involve mortgagees paying some of the mortgage.

Granting an order for repossession of homes would throw people on to the Council’s overcrowded social housing list and see them get Rent Supplement from the State, Mr Burke said. Protesters outside the possession court in Tralee, who were calling for a boycott of the buying of any repossessed homes, welcomed the suggestion as it would allow people to remain in their homes as part-owners. Some 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 individuals who had some capacity to pay.

More than 80 applications for repossession were before the monthly sitting of the possession court. Several of the new applications were for what the court was told were relatively small mortgages which had fallen into serious arrears. Some cases were complicated by family law, where couples had separated or a partner continued to live in a property. 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 €46,300 mortgage on his Tralee home in 2001. He had lost his job and was living in the home with his son. The monthly repayments were €270, but he had fallen into arrears of €15,449. The bank was seeking to redeem €75,000 from the man, its solicitor said.

Now on a CES, the man would commit to a weekly payment of €50, his solicitor said, asking Mr Burke to give his client “one last chance”. Mr Burke said the reality was that the man and his son would need to be housed, and this would fall on the Council. He had the capacity to pay two- thirds of what was required and the Council might consider a shared ownership agreement with the bank. He directed the Council to be approached with a view to negotiating with the bank and the individual.