The Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys TD, has secured Government approval to extend the Abhaile Scheme until the end of 2023.
The scheme was set up in 2016 and is designed to support families in mortgage arrears. It provides assistance to people who are insolvent and in mortgage arrears on their homes to access independent expert financial and legal advice.
To date, over 19,300 households at risk of losing their homes have been supported.
And 80% of those who avail of advice under the Abhaile Scheme are either on the road to getting a solution or already have one in place. Home mortgage arrears have fallen sharply and continue to fall, but the cohort in long term arrears remains significant – at just over 21,600 mortgage accounts at the end of 2021.
The decision to extend Abhaile also includes extending the work of the MABS Dedicated Mortgage Arrears Advisors.
Funding by the two Departments has already been included in their budget estimates for 2023 and amounts to approximately €8.4m, which includes €2.5m apportioned to the Dedicated Mortgage Arrears MABS service.
Announcing the extension of the Abhaile Scheme until the end of 2023, Minister Humphreys said:
“I know from my days working in the credit union, the stress placed on families who find themselves struggling to meet their mortgage repayments.
“The prospect of losing your home can be a deeply traumatic experience for the entire household.
“Given the current cost of living pressures people are under, I felt it was only right to keep the Abhaile Scheme in place until at least the end of 2023.
“This is a scheme that has a track record of helping families that fall into difficulty.
“In fact, over 19,300 households at risk of losing their homes have been supported since the scheme was established in 2016.
“Abhaile is often the first point of contact for distressed mortgage holders, and it provides successful solutions for people.
“I know that the decision to extend Abhaile until the end of 2023 will enable it to reach those who have not yet engaged and those who may be at risk.”