Helping families unable to repay their mortgages to remain in their homes at affordable rents, as part of a community-based housing group.

Project aim

Helping families unable to repay their mortgages to remain in their homes at affordable rents, as part of a community-based housing group.

About the project

In 2013, Cork County Council estimated that an additional 73,035 homes are needed to deal with growing housing demand and that 14% would have to be social housing, where rents were based on the household’s ability to pay. But due to recession, the Council housing budget has been slashed, and no new Council housing is being built. The only alternative source of social housing is privately rented homes. This housing crisis is today exacerbated nationally by mortgage arrears, with 83,251 private residential mortgages in arrears of over three months, many of these in arrears of over two years. The Central Bank (Irish Times 03.04.15) estimates that around 30,904 of these cases are likely to involve "potential loss of ownership". These are likely to be the most vulnerable households, the unemployed or disabled, who are dependent on welfare or whose incomes are very low, who can neither restructure or become insolvent.

Carbery Housing Association (CHA) is an association of local people, coming together to develop and provide housing and associated amenities, for a range of households that were excluded from the housing market, on the basis of partnership with local authorities and community organisations, and aiming at a high level of energy efficiency and sustainability. CHA is currently manages properties secured on long-term leases from private owners, and rented to families nominated by the local authority from their housing list, at means-tested "council-equivalent" rents. CHA has applied and been approved as an Approved Housing Body (AHB) for the Government's Mortgages to Rents Initiative, where owner-occupiers who are unable to repay their mortgages can opt for mortgages being transferred to an AHB, on the understanding that they will remain in their homes as permanent tenants of the Association. CHA is currently negotiating the purchase of 20 properties in Cork City and County under this programme.

We have now come to a stage where we require your urgent support.

We have 7 properties surveyed and 13 more allocated by the Housing Agency for this Programme. Some months ago we applied to AIB for a loan and they agreed to consider the 7 first properties allocated to CHA for a loan for purchase. The total costs of purchase of these properties is 851,500 EUR. The Housing Agency has further agreed a subsidy of € 210,685 for purchase. Last week the AIB bank last issued CHA with a Loan Offer for € 615,815 on a term of 20 years at 4.5% interest. However, they have placed the condition on the loan that we must contribute the balance, that is € 25,000 out of our own funds or donations, towards this purchase, or approximately € 3,571 per house purchased. The reason for this is the Banks rules on loan to value ratios. 

It is therefore absolutely essential for the future of these familes and the project that we raise the 50,000 EUR required as soon as possible Any donation at this point would help CHA to purchase some or all of these 7 properties, on the basis of one property purchased for every € 3,571 (£ 2,567) donation. The occupants have been waiting for some months for a decision on this, so their situation is quite pressing. Please help us finis what we have started and help us to provide an appropriate future for these families.

.