A deal has been agreed between AIB, the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation and iCare Housing which will see the bank buy out borrowers who are unable to maintain their repayments, but allow them to remain in the property as a tenant.
AIB will give iCare – a not-for-profit housing body – €100m in order to buy the properties, via the Irish government’s mortgage-to-rent scheme, which are then let back to the existing occupiers on lengthy tenancies of up to 30 years.
Borrowers will need to meet certain criteria in order to take advantage of the scheme; it will initially only be available to people that qualify for social housing for example, while eligible properties must be worth less than €365,000 (£319,000).
If their circumstances change, they will be able to buy the property back from iCare at the same price iCare paid for it, which David Hall – one of the masterminds behind the scheme – says will ensure tenants keep up with their rent repayments.
Hall, who runs iCare, told the Irish Independent: ““This is the biggest mortgage arrears solution since the crash. It will apply to the most vulnerable and stop them losing their homes.
“The big issue now is housing, and not debt. People need somewhere to live, so it is about ensuring they do not end up with their homes repossessed.”
It is believed that there are currently around 30,000 borrowers in Ireland who are at least two years behind on their mortgage repayments.