The purpose of mortgage interest supplement is to provide short-term income support to eligible people who are unable to meet their mortgage interest repayments in respect of a house which is their sole place of residence. The Government has provided approximately €51 million for this scheme in 2012.
There are currently approximately 17,600 mortgage interest supplement recipients of which 15,000 have been in receipt of payment for six months or more. Mortgage interest supplement is not an appropriate long-term support. The Inter-Departmental Mortgage Arrears Working Group recommended the establishment of two schemes, mortgage to rent and mortgage to lease, for eligible households to access social housing supports. Details of the mortgage to rent scheme have been announced recently by the Minister of State for Housing and Planning.