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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Today not tomorrow-Getting help early could save your home

In today’s difficult economic climate many local households continue to struggle with debt.  Local charity Housing Rights is urging people not to put off dealing with mortgage debt and to get free independent advice as early as possible.

That is the key message of a new promotional campaign launched today by Housing Rights with the help of Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA.

Janet Hunter, Director with Housing Rights said:

“Housing debt is a common problem facing many people across Northern Ireland.  We would urge anyone worried about falling behind with their mortgage to get help early. Losing your home is not inevitable, so don’t struggle alone contact us now for free independent advice. Act today, not tomorrow.”

Housing Rights offer a dedicated mortgage debt advice service on behalf of the Department for Social Development.  Last year the service assisted over 1600 households.  Minister Mervyn Storey MLA has recently given the service additional funding so even more people can be helped.

Encouraging those in mortgage crisis to seek help, Minister Storey said:

“The first step in tackling the issue of mortgage debt and repossession is ensuring people get advice at an early stage.  To help local people make this step, I have increased funding for specialist mortgage debt advice by 50% to £340,000.

“Over 90 per cent of people who have a problem with their mortgage find a sustainable solution, providing they seek advice and act quickly.  I would urge anyone who is struggling to pay their mortgage or worried about the future to seek help as soon as possible. Free, independent and confidential advice is available by simply lifting the phone and calling 0300 32 30 310”

A repossession taskforce was established in 2014 by the Social Development Minister to look into repayment arrears, repossession and negative equity in Northern Ireland.  It determined that recent improvements in the national housing market have not been seen locally. House prices remain 50% below their 2007 peak and there are high levels of negative equity.  In addition many local households who are just making ends meet are highly sensitive to any changes in interest rates or reduced availability of work.  

Ms Hunter continued:

“Demand for the mortgage debt advice service is consistently high so we are delighted that Minister Storey has been able to provide additional funding.  This means we will be able to help even more people facing difficulties with housing debt. ”

People worried about mortgage or other loan secured on their home can contact Housing Rights on 0300 32 30 310. Online advice is also available at www.housingadviceni.org 

Ends

For further information contact Claire at Housing Rights Service on 90 267925

Download Photo - Janet Hunter and Minister Storey 1st June 2015


Notes to editors

  • Housing Rights is the leading specialist provider of independent housing advice in Northern Ireland.  Established in 1964 the charity works to improve lives by tackling homelessness and housing problems.
  • Last year the organisation provided advice and assistance on over 40,000 housing issues.
  • The charity has operated a Mortgage Debt Advice Service on behalf of the Department for Social Development since 2009.
  • Housing Rights also provides emergency representation at Court and provided representation at nearly 1,300 court hearings during 2014/2015.