SDLP MP Mark H Durkan has criticized the lack of movement by ministers for Stormont and Westminster to implement support for homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments.
South Belfast MP Claire Hanna also urged the Treasury to meet with financial institutions to see what additional protections could be given to landlords.
The renewed calls follow a spike in interest rates that will put the North and Britain on the brink of recession.
Economists have predicted a slump in housing markets as thousands of households across the UK are set to exit their fixed rate mortgages.
Mr Durkan has repeatedly called for the implementation of a mortgage rescue program throughout the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.
The MP for Foyle said: “The financial outlook for many families here could not be gloomier and it is clear that northerners will be hardest hit by the cost of living crisis.
“Now that the threat of recession is looming, the likelihood of foreclosures is increasing.
“People who are already struggling to make ends meet will see their mortgage payments increase by hundreds of pounds as fixed rate periods come to an end.
“As a result, many people will not be able to make these payments.
“According to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Northern Ireland has a higher proportion of poor homeowners than anywhere else in the UK. In fact, there are twice as many households in arrears with their mortgage payments.
“A situation that has probably worsened in the four years since this research was first published.
“It is quite mind-boggling that no action has been taken to date to support vulnerable homeowners.
“Over the past two years I have repeatedly asked the Finance and Community Ministers to implement a mortgage rescue program to help people who are under severe pressure.
“I have received several indications from the Minister for Communities that work is underway and that the ministry is considering reversing the decision to change the mortgage interest support from a benefit to a loan, but these efforts have not have not borne fruit.
“Meanwhile, the pandemic and ensuing cost crisis have exposed homeowners’ vulnerabilities, putting them at increased risk of homelessness.
“The lack of mortgage support will have massive repercussions for all of society; families at risk of losing their homes as well as those in the private rental sector will be pushed onto a long waiting list of 40,000 applicants.
“In my own constituency, I have already witnessed an increase in the number of voters becoming homeless due to the loss of private rental accommodation.
“It is clear that the consequences for our communities will be severe and will serve to aggravate the current housing crisis.
Mr Durkan added: “The current economic situation has created a perfect storm helped by the inaction of Stormont and Westminster.
“People have been and are stranded. I have been requesting a mortgage support provision since 2020, as such the current political stalemate cannot be blamed on ministers’ inaction.
“My party colleague, Claire Hanna MP, has also called on the UK government to liaise with financial institutions to ensure they play their full part and I hope mortgage providers will work constructively. with borrowers to come up with solutions that work for people, like a payment holiday. , partial payment or extension of the term of the mortgage.
“People are already suffering from the actions of this government, and we need to make sure further blows are not caused by additional financial penalties or people risk losing their homes.
“Steps must be taken to formulate a strategy to help owners. Acting ministers must demonstrate a willingness to help those in need.
Durkan: Failure to act on mortgage support will worsen housing crisis was last modified: September 29, 2022 by