The Workers’ Party has called for the state to purchase the buy-to-let mortgages put on the market by Permanent TSB earlier this week.

Workers’ Party councillor Éilis Ryan said:

“There is €1.5billion worth of buy-to-let mortgages within the Permanent TSB portfolio put on the market earlier this week. That’s likely to be thousands and thousands of individual units – most of which have tenants in situ.

“The state should act to prevent the sale of the entire €4 billion package. But while homeowners have some legal entitlements to remain in their homes, tenants of landlords whose mortgages are sold can be summarily evicted if the purchaser sells on again – as they generally do.”

The councillor continued,

“Given the state’s 75% stake in Permanent TSB, the sale presents a unique opportunity to expand the state’s public housing stock in one swoop, and simultaneously prevent a further wave of evictions into homelessness.

“Given its own position as shareholder, it is well-positioned to secure a decent rate on the purchase, taking into account its own investments into Permanent TSB in recent years.”

The Workers’ Party councillor concluded:

“It is ludicrous that, on the one hand, the government is crying crocodile tears about its commitment to expanding its public housing stock, and on the other is facilitating the sale – by a bank in which it is the majority shareholder – of thousands of rental units.

“Let’s think outside the box, bring PTSB’s buy-to-let stock into public ownership, and secure the housing rights of thousands and thousands of tenants.”