CARBERY Housing Association has agreed to purchase three family homes that were in danger of being repossessed.
As a result, the West Cork charity has become the first approved housing body to secure a private loan under the Mortgages to Rent scheme.
Carbery Housing Association, an approved body under the Department of Environment’s housing agency, secured the loan offer from the AIB in Skibbereen in the sum of €377,000 – a sum that will be used to purchase four houses. The contracts for three of these homes were signed on Monday, with the fourth to be signed shortly.
Jose Ospina, secretary of Carbery Housing Association, told The Southern Star that the AIB loan, together with the Government subsidy, and funds already raised by Carbery, will be used to complete the purchases ‘as soon as possible’.
Under the Mortgages to Rent scheme, the properties are purchased by the housing association, but the residents are allowed remain in their own homes on similar terms, as council tenants.
They are, however, entitled by law, to buy their properties back within the first five years of occupation, should their circumstances change.
Carbery Housing Association has loan approval to buy seven properties, but cannot proceed with the remaining three properties until additional funding has been raised.
The association is obliged to contribute approximately €3,500 per property. Since July it has raised €15,000, mostly through private donations, and it is looking to raise a further €10,000 in donations if it is to proceed with the purchase of three more houses.
Mr Ospina told The Southern Star that with an estimated 90,000 households in significant mortgage arrears, the Central Bank has predicted that around 30% will not be able to restructure their loans and are therefore at risk of having their homes repossessed. Mr Ospina added that, as an approved housing body, the association is notified when families choose this option and it has been estimated that there are an additional 17 families in Cork county that it could assist.
‘Anyone who would like to make a donation to our organisation – which has charitable status, so the payment is tax deductable – is welcome to attend our presentation and raffle at the West Cork Hotel at 8pm on Friday October 2nd.’
For further information, contact Jose by calling 028 21890 or 086 8224429, or by emailing [email protected] or see www.carberyhousing.eu.
Mr Ospina paid tribute to the people of Skibbereen, saying: ‘The success of this project is down to them. They have been generous, supportive and committed and their efforts will be of direct benefit to four families who otherwise might have become homeless.’