Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (559)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

559. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason funding for the dedicated mortgage arrears programme is confirmed only until mid-February 2019; if long-term funding for the service which supports those who face mortgage difficulties will be provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52169/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), under the aegis of the Citizens Information Board, (CIB)  provides assistance to people, in particular those on low incomes or living on social welfare payments, who are over-indebted and need help and advice with debt problems.  As part of its free services, MABS provides help and advice to those in mortgage arrears. 

The role of MABS was expanded in 2015 with the establishment of a Dedicated Mortgage Arrears MABS service (DMA MABS) across the MABS network, to help people specifically with home mortgage arrears.  Specialist DMA advisors are working across 27 locations countrywide, assisting borrowers to assess the options available to them and, where required, negotiating with lenders on their behalf.  To date, the DMA service has helped over 6,000 such borrowers. 

In 2018, over €2m has been allocated to CIB to fund the DMA service. Provision has been made for an allocation of €2.5 million for the DMA service as part of CIB's overall funding allocation for 2019 and this is expected to meet the costs of the service to the end of 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.