Fianna Fáil has pointed to a tsunami of family home repossessions coming down the line, as figures reveal a huge increase in the number of new cases lodged.

According to figures released by the Court Service, 616 family homes were the subject of repossession orders in the first six months of this year and orders were granted against a further 284 other properties during the period. Dublin and Cork households were particularly hard hit with 97 families losing their home in Dublin and 91 in Cork over the period.

Most worryingly, a new analysis of the figures conducted by Fianna Fáil shows there will be a serious deterioration of the situation in the last few months of the year. 3,395 civil bills were lodged in the first six months of the year. These are essentially the first stage in the repossession process and an indication of huge number of cases coming down the line.

The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Dublin Darragh O’Brien has said the country is in the grips of a housing emergency and has called for an urgent statement from the Government.

“We are seeing a tsunami of home repossessions sweeping the country. The fact that over 600 family homes have already been repossessed since the start of the year is extremely worrying, but what is even more worrying is that 3,395 cases are currently being processed,” the Dublin Senator said.

“The problem of long term arrears needs urgent action. There are 37,933 owner occupiers more than two years behind in their mortgage payments. This category now constitutes 36% of all accounts in arrears, and 79% of arrears outstanding. The IMF has noted that mortgages continue to move into long- terms arrears and said the problem ‘will require intensified and sustained efforts’ from the authorities here.

“More and more families are finding themselves with nowhere to go as their homes face repossession and they cannot afford inflated rents. We have seen a 55% surge in the number of homeless families since the start of the year. The failure to tackle the mortgage crisis is playing a significant role in these appalling figures. Last week my colleague Jack Chambers revealed that a family were forced to sleep in an industrial unit after the credit card used for emergency accommodation in Dublin maxed out. This week a family of five were forced to sleep in a Dublin park as they couldn’t find anywhere to stay.

“How bad does this have to get before Minister Alan Kelly comes out of hiding? How bad does it have to get before the Government starts taking this emergency seriously? It’s now eight months since the disturbing death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie, forcing the forced the Government into a series of press conferences and promises of action to tackle the homeless crisis. These promises turned out to be completely empty as not a single thing has been done since then. And the situation has got immeasurably worse.”