South Tipperary T.D. Tom Hayes has called on John Gormley, Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to work with his Cabinet colleague Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan in relation to the explosion of the waiting lists for local authority housing, especially in light of the large number of people in mortgage arrears.
"I am very concerned about the figures who are awaiting local authority housing in South Tipperary and the further increases to waiting lists with re-possessions going head in 2011. Figures available from South Tipperary County Council show that there was an increase of 35% from 1390 waiting on October 31, 2009 to 1881 waiting for housing on October 31, 2010.
"When the numbers of people in arrears of their mortgage is taken into account, we are facing a very serious situation. The 12 month moratorium for mortgage arrears will expire in February, and this means that a huge number of people are facing re-possession of their homes. There are 11,600 people nationally who have been unable to pay their mortgage for a year or more. On top of the end of the moratorium, expected future ECB interest rate rises will also drive some homeowners into repossession territory," Tom Hayes T.D. said.
"If the government continues to put its head in the sand about this issue, and continues its policy of doing nothing to help homeowners in arrears, 2011 will become the year when people's homes are lost, and where our housing lists spiral out of all control. The doubling we have seen in 2009 of those awaiting housing will be nothing compared to what 2011 will bring, unless the government takes action."
"I am desperately concerned that the government refuse to tackle this issue. The measures undertaken have simply not been enough to assist people who are facing their worst nightmare – losing their homes. The IMF have recommended that a scheme similar to Fine Gael's Homeowner Support Scheme be implemented.