The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoghan Murphy TD, confirmed today (14 April 2020) that forbearance arrangements have been put in place for local authority mortgage products.
"Measures to support local authority home loan borrowers have now been agreed. These measures will ensure that a mortgage payment break of up to three months will be made available to local authority borrowers who are in need of it."
The approach being rolled out in the local authority sector will ensure that no additional costs to the original home loan balance will arise for the borrower who avails of these measures, as borrowers are not charged interest for the period of the break.
Work has focused on ensuring a simplified application process that can be accessed and processed quickly so that borrowers in distress can access this payment break quickly. This break is available to those who have already faced mortgage difficulties due to the COVID-19 emergency and those who may encounter difficulties in the near future.
The Minister stated:
"We have also consulted with the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to ensure that any local authority experiencing cash flow difficulties arising out of this measure will receive the necessary support from the HFA. It is essential that local authorities are supported in providing essential services during these difficult times."
The Minister also added that his department is continuing to work with the Department of Finance in relation to potential further measures that may be needed in the future.
Any local authority borrower facing difficulties due to COVID-19 are urged to contact their local authority as soon as possible, in particular, to access the application form and information that will be available on each local authority’s website.