New figures from the Housing Agency showing that, at the end of 2016, just 217 Mortgage to Rent transactions have been completed in the past four and a half years highlight the need for a radical shake-up of the scheme, according to the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath.

Deputy McGrath commented, “When the Mortgage to Rent scheme was launched by the previous FG / Labour government in 2012, it was held up as a safety net to keep families deep in mortgage arrears in their homes. Since then, the scheme has turned into a bureaucratic nightmare and delivered a paltry return.

“The main banks in Ireland have been involved in just one third of the 217 completed transactions, with AIB, for example, concluding just one transaction in the last four and a half years. In contrast, Pepper, acting on behalf of so called ‘vulture funds”, has been involved in 107 of the 217 completed cases.

“It has been clear for some time now that this scheme is simply not working. With over 43,000 family home mortgages currently in arrears for more than a year, the lack of support for the Mortgage to Rent scheme by the Government and many of the main lenders is very apparent and offers little hope to those deep in mortgage arrears.

“The scheme is overly bureaucratic, takes far too long and has proven to be a deeply frustrating experience for those in mortgage arrears who have sought to avail of it. Nothing short of a major overhaul of the scheme, including putting it on a statutory footing will suffice at this stage.

“The Government talks a great game about keeping families in their own homes but is presiding over a Mortgage to Rent scheme that is badly broken, while at the same time thousands of families are faced with the real risk of their home being repossessed.

“Meaningful reforms are urgently needed to rescue this scheme and make it fit for purpose. Fianna Fáil will be pressing this issue when the Dáil resumes later this month,” concluded McGrath.

**The latest statistics on the scheme (including a breakdown of completed transactions by lender, loan authority area etc) are available at the following link: