Written Answers - Local Authority Housing

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 756 No. 1

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  168.  Deputy Catherine Murphy  Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government  Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan   the options, if any, being considered in relation to local authority housing loans; if local authorities will be permitted to allow those on shared ownership loans to transfer to annuity loans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9061/12]

  169.  Deputy Catherine Murphy  Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government  Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan   the extent of arrears on local authority mortgages, by county, in 2010 and 2011; the amount that was paid on the subsidy element of the shared ownership loans in 2010 and 2011, and in respect of how many loans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9062/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 and 169 together.

My Department issued comprehensive guidance to local authorities on the treatment of mortgage arrears, including local authority mortgages for shared ownership transactions, in March 2010. That guidance was closely based on the Central Bank’s first statutory Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears to ensure that cases of local authority mortgage arrears are handled in a manner that is sympathetic to the needs of the particular household, while also protecting the position of the local authority concerned.To reflect the content of the Central Bank’s revised Code of Conduct — which replaced the previous code from 1 January 2011 and was informed by the deliberations of the Expert Group on Mortgage Arrears and Personal Debt — my Department is currently preparing updated guidance to local authorities in consultation with the City and County Managers Association. This will further enable local authorities to provide a range of flexible repayment options for households in difficulty. In relation to shared ownership specifically, the full review of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 announced in the Government’s housing policy statement in June 2011 has been broadened to include an examination of the shared ownership scheme.

Where any borrower, either from a local authority or from a private financial institution, is facing difficulties in meeting mortgage repayments, they should engage proactively and constructively with the lender to seek to achieve an agreed solution. The services of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service are also available to such borrowers and support is available through the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.

In addition, section 34 of Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 provides local authorities with powers to deal flexibly with distressed borrowers.

My Department has recently commenced the collation of data from local authorities on the number of loans in arrears broken down by the length of time in arrears. The data to end of September 2011 indicate that 6,202 of all local authority mortgages (including those drawn down for the purposes of purchasing houses under the various affordable housing schemes, including shared ownership and tenant purchase) are in arrears of more than 90 days. This represents 27.5% of the total number of loans. The table below provides the data on a county by county basis. My Department does not collect information in relation to payments on the subsidy element of shared ownership loans.

[166]The use of 90 days as a comparative metric in considering the level of arrears is consistent with the approach adopted by the Central Bank in compiling information in respect of private lenders’ loans. The Central Bank’s data show that 8.1% of mortgages in the private sector are now either in arrears for more than 90 days or have been restructured. It is to be expected that the rate of arrears among local authority mortgage holders would be higher than the rate of arrears generally given local authorities’ position as lenders of last resort.

Number of LA loans in arrears
Year QTR Between 91-180 days in arrears Over 180 days in arrears Total over 90 days Loans in arrears as a % of the total loan book
2010 Q1 1,769 3,657 5,426 24.2%
Q2 1,878 4,121 5,999 24.6%
Q3 1,723 4,307 6,030 24.8%
Q4 1,577 4,488 6,065 25.4%
2011 Q1 1,506 4,501 6,007 25.5%
Q2 1,656 4,541 6,197 26.8%
Q3 1,555 4,647 6,202 27.5%

Q4 2010 Q3 2011
At the end of: Number of loans in arrears over 90 days Value of loans in arrears over 90 days Number of loans in arrears over 90 days Value of loans in arrears over 90 days
County Councils
Carlow 39 1,672,633 43 2,096,177
Cavan 84 1,201,450 79 1,170,415
Clare 209 3,711,999 193 3,769,998
Cork 259 2,045,459 347 17,158,442
Donegal 144 4,195,405 160 5,597,229
DL/Rathdown 118 4,178,006 108 5,521,327
Fingal 129 8,229,866 161 12,123,891
Galway 172 6,313,240 176 6,278,839
Kerry 163 2,845,267 143 2,846,849
Kildare 400 15,846,719 427 17,405,106
Kilkenny 208 7,021,114 249 8,248,005
Laois 240 12,190,148 249 14,325,289
Leitrim 27 251,408 27 189,693
Limerick 168 1,944,936 157 2,049,067
Longford 105 2,046,314 107 2,947,402
Louth 145 2,539,390 130 4,137,386
Mayo 334 6,796,155 312 6,821,825
Meath 161 2,802,784 137 3,854,656
Monaghan 103 1,049,102 114 1,891,629
North Tipperary 106 2,333,256 95 2,376,940
Offaly 116 1,356,676 106 1,727,466
Roscommon 113 771,036 98 770,770
Sligo 211 5,947,656 246 5,860,541
South Dublin 126 8,190,747 131 9,086,310
South Tipperary 154 3,238,126 166 3,277,589
Waterford 100 3,470,772 98 4,128,535
Westmeath 334 15,528,930 332 15,884,963
Wexford 152 5,800,178 148 7,472,113
Wicklow 132 5,781,818 121 5,678,251
City Councils
Cork 222 4,002,870 201 4,596,713
Dublin 689 6,743,131 800 8,288,657
Galway 98 6,316,974 94 5,597,594
Limerick 136 1,681,138 78 1,367,091
Waterford 168 9,300,798 169 9,686,001
Total 6,065 167,345,501 6,202 204,232,759

  170.  Deputy Catherine Murphy  Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government  Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan   the number of houses rented under the rental accommodation scheme, by county; the additional allocations that will be made in 2012 by county; the housing list by county; the other options available or are being considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9068/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  My Department collects information on the total number of accommodation units rented under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) but this is not broken down by type of accommodation. Since the scheme was introduced in late 2005, some 37,757 households have been transferred by local authorities from Rent Supplement to RAS and other social housing options. Of this figure 21,892 were housed directly under RAS.

The following table outlines the number of households provided with accommodation under RAS on a county by county basis from November 2005 up to the end of 2011:

Local Authorities (Housing) No.of cases transferred to RAS (Private) to end December 2011 RAS Unsold Affordables (Leasing) to end December 2011 No. of cases transferred to RAS (Voluntary) to end December 2011 Total RS transfers to Voluntary, Unsold Afford. and Private to end December 2011 Total No. of RS cases socially housed to end December 2011 Total RS cases transferred to Private/ Voluntary/ Unsold Affordables and socially housed to end December 2011
Carlow Co. Cl. 391 0 89 480 204 684
Cavan Co. Cl. 287 0 89 376 298 674
Clare Co. Cl. 374 0 98 472 235 707
Cork City Cl. 745 0 259 1,004 974 1,978
Cork County Cl. 821 0 449 1,270 1,225 2,495
Donegal Co. Cl. 322 0 277 599 1,437 2,036
Dublin City Cl. 1,688 62 693 2,443 703 3,146
Dublin South Co. Cl. 1,347 1 91 1,439 1,118 2,557
Dun/Rathdown Co. Cl. 512 0 116 628 548 1,176
Fingal Co. Cl. 719 96 138 953 847 1,800
Galway City Cl. 650 0 217 867 361 1,228
Galway Co. Cl. 370 0 170 540 274 814
Kerry Co. Cl. 726 0 78 804 624 1,428
Kildare Co. Cl. 421 0 125 546 582 1,128
Kilkenny Co. Cl. 344 0 337 681 345 1,026
Laois Co. Cl. 165 0 96 261 183 444
Leitrim Co. Cl. 109 0 26 135 100 235
Limerick City Cl. 615 0 102 717 164 881
Limerick Co. Cl. 257 0 245 502 256 758
Longford Co. Cl. 400 0 0 400 95 495
Louth Co. Cl. 242 0 79 321 858 1,179
Mayo Co. Cl. 598 0 394 992 334 1,326
Meath Co. Cl. 167 55 118 340 317 657
Monaghan Co. Cl. 176 0 135 311 184 495
Nth Tipperary Co. Cl. 427 0 52 479 236 715
Offaly Co. Cl. 215 40 47 302 242 544
Roscommon Co. Cl. 364 0 86 450 347 797
Sligo Co. Cl. 343 0 177 520 209 729
Sth Tipperary Co. Cl. 572 0 96 668 428 1,096
Waterford City Cl. 395 0 271 666 360 1,026
Waterford Co. Cl. 265 0 39 304 279 583
Westmeath Co. Cl. 397 0 17 414 205 619
Wexford Co. Cl. 498 0 103 601 918 1,519
Wicklow Co. Cl. 373 0 34 407 377 784
Totals 16,295 254 5,343 21,892 15,867 37,759

My Department does not hold information on the number of households on local authorities’ waiting lists. This figure continuously fluctuates as households are allocated housing and new households apply for housing support. Detailed information on the latest statutory assessment of housing need carried out in March 2011, including a breakdown by housing authority, is available on my Department’s website www.environ.ie or on the Housing Agency’s website at www.housing.ie.


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