17 April 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan/Monaghan Niamh Smyth has welcomed the news that homeowners who hold mortgages with their local authority or Rebuilding Ireland home loans can now apply for a three-month payment break.

Deputy Smyth said she and party colleagues had raised the matter in recent weeks with Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy TD.

She said she was anxious to ensure fairness for holders of these types of mortgage and home loan in her constituency.
“A lot of people have had real concerns as to how they would repair their mortgages because of lay-offs due to the Covid-19 crisis,” Deputy Smyth stated, “so the payment break will offer those individuals a small reassurance in these uncertain times.

“If an individual applies for a mortgage break, they will not be charged interest for the period of the break, meaning that no additional costs to the original home loan balance will arise for any individual who avails of these measures.
“I would urge those interested to contact their local authority as soon as possible to begin the application process.”

Deputy Smyth has called on local garden centres and hardware stores to offer collection facilities for customers who want to shop over the phone or online during the Coronavirus pandemic.

She stated: “Elsewhere I am aware of garden centres and hardware stores operating a click and collect-type service. Provided social distancing and public health guidelines are followed, I do not see why this service cannot be offered locally.

“Being outside and getting fresh air is important for our mental health, particularly at a time of high stress and anxiety. A number of people have mentioned to me that they would love to get out into their gardens and do some planting, but, with most garden centres closed, they have nothing to plant.

“I am calling on garden centres to explore the possibility of operating an online or phone service, whereby people could place orders which could then be delivered or collected. Other garden centres have done this, the best-known being Woodies – they could be a model to follow.

“Not only would this cater for demand, it could also help to keep smaller businesses viable. I will liaise with any interested garden centre to see what steps can be taken to move this proposal forward.”

FF TD Niamh Smyth

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