Storey Increases Support Available To Those In Mortgage Crisis

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has announced that he is increasing funding to the Mortgage Debt Advice Service (MDAS) by 50%.

The MDAS, provided by the Housing Rights Service, will see its funding increase to £340,000 in 2015/16, an increase of £115,000 from 2014/15.

dn_screenThe increase in funding will enable the Housing Rights Service to provide valuable support to more people who are in mortgage crisis and further help reduce the risk of people facing homelessness and repossession.

Speaking after attending a celebratory event in Parliament Buildings marking the 50th Anniversary of the Housing Rights Service, Minister Storey said: “I am delighted to be able to provide a substantial 50% increase in funding for the vital Mortgage Debt Advice Service for the forthcoming year. This will enable more people to benefit from this excellent service and further help reduce the risk of homelessness for those facing difficulties with mortgage debt.”

The Minister recently published the final report from the Housing Repossessions Taskforce report which highlights the expectation that demand for advice services will increase due to the significant number of households in Northern Ireland exposed to interest rate rises.

The Minister continued: “An increase in funding to the Mortgage Debt Advice Service was a key recommendation coming from the Taskforce. Today, I am delivering on that recommendation.

“Seeking advice and support early, another key recommendation from the Taskforce, is the first step in addressing a mortgage crisis situation. The outcomes can be significantly improved, and while no doubt daunting, addressing that there is an issue has to be the first step in dealing with the problem.”

In the first ten months of 2014/15, the MDAS supported 1,395 borrowers. The support ranged from sound advice to prevent an escalation of the mortgage debt problem, interventions to prevent homelessness and vital support to people going through the court process.

The Minister said: “The additional funding I have allocated to this important service will ensure that the MDAS can provide essential advice to even more people.

“I would continue to encourage anyone who feels that they are in danger of losing their home to access this support as early as possible. The Housing Rights Service will help to explore all the options available to avoid the threat of repossession and secure an affordable and sustainable solution.”

Contact the Mortgage Debt Advice Service Line on 0300 323 0310 or guidance is also available at: