Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Losing your home doesn’t hurt any less just because you don’t own it!

What about us renters? We’re being punished for not being massively in debt to the banks, but when we lose our home it hurts just as much!

We’re always hearing about the mortgage holders.
How can we help the mortgage holders?
Should we offer mortgage holders some kind of debt protection, so that they don’t lose their homes?

I’ve never owned a home and I’ve never missed a rent payment, but I know the pain I felt years ago, when my landlord told me he was going to sell the house I was living in. I was going to lose my home, and there was nothing I could do about it. Didn’t matter that I’d kept it immaculately, paid all the bills. Counted not a jot that I had personally painted the whole place and paid all my rent on time.

You’re out. Good luck.

I haven’t suddenly become a heartless bastard who thinks my situation is more important than anyone else’s. If you’ve paid your mortgage and then lose your job, you shouldn’t have to live in fear of being homeless. Ideally nobody should ever live with that fear.

Yet all the media talk is of the mortgage holders. How can we protect the mortgage holders?
But renters matter too. Renters on the poverty line in Ireland are about to have their rent allowance benefits cut asunder in the upcoming budget, and nobody seems too upset about it.

I do. In fact I need to say it again: poverty-line renters are losing their benefits and as a consequence being kicked out of their homes, while debt relief for mortgage holders is still a possibility.

Personally, I’d be delighted to protect those who took out mortgages from slavering bankers who aggressively sold economically insane mortgages. It’s too easy to call the punters greedy. We all want to live in lovely homes, and if we’re told by lenders that we can afford it, we want to believe them. ‘Sub Prime’ could not exist as a concept were that not true.

But what about the renters? There’s no protection for us because we haven’t played the game. We’re not hundreds of thousands of euro in debt to the banks. We are people who are trying to pay our way, simply and honestly. Many renters have debts of course, because they’ve bought into the credit card culture and they have children to feed. But because they are not ridiculously in debt, for some reason their homes are not deemed worthy of financial protection.

When a renter is served notice, nobody notices. It doesn’t make the 6 o’clock news. But losing your home doesn’t hurt any less just because you don’t own it, especially when you’ve paid your way, looked after the house, and loved the home it became.


Paz said...

I agree there should be some sort of protection for people renting, especially during this climate.
Also agree that we should not have to bail defaulters out, they took out out the mortgage they owe the money.
Harsh, but some of us saved and took out small mortgages we could manage even with a paycut, I'm f#cked if I am paying others mortgages also, bad enough I have to pay for the bankers and civil servants.

Charlie Adley said...

I totally understand your postion, but it's a loss of sense and human values that drives us into these corners.

It's just such a shame that different levels of poverty send us into undesirable stlyes of behaviour. We shouldn't have to make these 'them or me' choices. It's like having to choose whether to operate on a cancer patient or a kidney transplant.