A DUBLIN mum who fought for six years to save her home from being repossessed said it “was the best Christmas present ever” to call it her own again.
Jayne Edmondson was on the brink of losing her home after a marriage break-up in 2010.
While three separate housing authorities said they were interested in signing her up for the mortgage-to-rent scheme, none followed through.
This left her constantly fighting to keep a roof over her head for her and her four children.
Speaking to the Irish Sun, she said: “The marriage broke down and I couldn’t afford to pay the mortgage so my bank agreed to do mortgage-to-rent.
“I went through three housing associations and was not successful. And this was in between the court to be repossessed, I was fighting both. Between divorce courts, family courts and repossession court it was a lot…
“The bank had no issue. But it was getting it onto the mortgage-to-rent which was the big issue for me, which was really disheartening.
“The bank said yes and I had phone calls from one housing association saying yes, they would be happy doing this, they came out and did a survey, I had an evaluation, everything.
“Then about four months later I had a call from another housing association saying ‘You are looking to do mortgage to rent’. I am going, ‘What happened the first one?’ You are not told anything. This happened to me three times.”
And while the bank were ok with Jane getting the scheme, when no housing authority stepped up, they made moves to repossess the property.
The constant worry left Jayne stressed and disheartened, but she said she had to keep fighting for her children.
“Six years I was waiting going through the old process, which wasn’t working. And then going to the repossession court as well, which is a horrible place to be. You see people in tears and they are being told their houses are gone and you are sitting there thinking that could be me next time.
“But you have three young kids looking at you. I have one who’s autistic who was never going to manage in a hotel. You have to fight on, you have no choice.”
Over that time she reached out to David Hall, who is the CEO of charity, the Irish Mortgage Holders Association. And in 2017, he informed Jayne that he could finally help.
David is the also the CEO of new scheme, iCare, which aims to buy back homes that are up for repossession and rent them back to the person who lived there.
It removes the need for the person to leave and gives them a 25-year tenancy. Tallaght mum Jayne couldn’t believe the difference once the ball started rolling.
“When David was launching it, he said he was going to put me in the first batch because I had been through so much. It’s a long process, but it was very straightforward.
“Being able to speak to someone made the difference. The first housing authority said ‘no we can’t speak to you. We can only talk to the bank’. I was going to be their tenant but they couldn’t talk to me.
“iCare process is so easy. There is always someone to contact or talk to and see any issues or where it is at. The other process didn’t work. The other housing associations don’t really want the mortgage to rent funds from the arrears, they want their own houses.”
She told us: “I had the best Christmas in eight years. The stress, the worries were gone. It was huge. I looked at the kids and I know they’re safe. If anything happens to me, my eldest can mind them and I know that he can take it over and his brothers will always have a home.
“I know I have a tenancy for over 25 years which is huge. I have my home and the boys have their home. They don’t have the stigma of being homeless.
“If I lost my house, where was I going to go? It was going to cost more to put us in emergency accommodation or HAP, if you can get rental accommodation.
“Also I have a dog, and she is part of the family, she’s nearly 10. What would happen to her? I know some people would say it’s only a dog but she is part of our family.
“But my kids never knew anything, unless I absolutely had to I wasn’t telling them anything. None of this is their fault, they don’t need to know the stress. I’m an adult, I can deal with it.”
Jane said she wants other people in the same situation to reach out and contact iCare.
“I just want to give people hope. I fought for six and a half years so there is light at the end of the tunnel, you just had to keep fighting.