Council refuses Nama houses

by Aisling Kennedy

DUN Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council turned down 219 housing units that were offered to it by the National Assest Management Agency (Nama) over the past four years.
The statistics emerged at the Dail’s P ublic Account’s Committee recently when members of the committee questioned Nama officials about what they had done to help tackle the housing crisis.
A total of 2,030 properties were offered to the four local authority areas around Dublin to be used as social housing in the four-year period but only 757 of them were accepted.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown was offered 351 housing units in total, but only accepted 132, in the period between 2011 and2015.
A spokesperson for the council told the Gazette that about 300 properties were initially identified as potentially available for social housing in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area by the Housing Agency.
The Housing Agency was established in 2010 to co-ordinate the national approach to engaging with Nama, according to the council.
The spokesperson said: “In July 2015, the Housing Agency advised that there were 106 properties under
consideration, which were being progressed by Nama and the various property owners /receivers so that they could bemade available for social housing purposes.
“Cluid [an approved h o u s i n g b o d y ] h a s already completed the acquisition of 64 apartments and four town houses, which were acquired with the assistance of funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, and were allocated to social housing applicants from
the council’ s waiting list.”
Asked about the 219 housing units that were rejected by the council, the spokesperson said: “The remainder either became unavailable or were deemed unsuitable.
“There are a number of reasons for developments not being considered suitable; a number of developments required major investment and significant works in order to complete them.”
Deputy Richard Boyd- Barret (PBPA) said he was annoyed and frustrated about the situation: “There is a completely unacceptable cloud of mystery hanging over Nama properties that might be used for social
housing. We need to get to the truth of the matter.
“Councils are blaming Nama and Nama is blaming the councils, and really nobody knows the truth of the matter.
“What we need is a full and detailed accounting of all of the social housing that was identified by Nama and offered to councils, and a full explanation as to why some may have been accepted and some refused, and none of that has been forthcoming.”
He added: “It’s derisory, what we actually got off Nama and we just can’t get a clear explanation either at a local or a national level as to what is going on with the Nama portfolio in the area of social housing.”
Cllr Gerry Horkan (FF) said: “This issue certainly wasn’t brought to the members’ attention before in any way.
“It wasn’t the decision of the councillors to accept or reject the units involved so it might be interesting to see exactly what units were rejected and why.
“I don’t know whether it was on location or whether it was on size or maybe it was on quality, I don’t know.
“But it is disappointing that when there are units being presented; it would be helpful if we could see the reasons why they were turned down.”
He added: “It’s not just in Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown.
“I mean Dublin city turned down quite a lot, Fingal turned down quite a lot, and they’re all the areas that are in high demand.

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