Push to acquire lands for council

by Gazette Reporter

FINGAL County Council has said that it does not have a comprehensive list of all NAMA owned lands in Fingal, but is exploring options for acquiring lands from NAMA to provide for social housing.

This follows calls from councillors for a list of all NAMA-owned properties in the county to be made available to them so they can push for the land to be released for the development of social housing.

In its mission statement, NAMA sets out a policy whereby it aims to assist in the provision of social housing. The agency has provided Fingal County Council with 60 units for social housing, to date.

Senior housing officials from the council meet NAMA officials on an ongoing basis and councillors believe that they are not provided with all of the information on NAMA properties that officials have.

C l l r  E u g e n e C o p pinger (AAA) said that the lands within NAMA are technically owned by the State and should definitely be made available for the development of social housing to tackle the current crisis.

He said: “As everyone will tell you, most Councillors want to know what NAMA owns of the cases we [councillors] are getting now are about housing and homelessness. We have a right to know if there are properties out there that could be made available, and might not be, so we can fight for them to be made available, even for emergency accommodation if possible.”

Cllr Lorna Nolan (Ind)said that councillors are treated like mushrooms: “kept in the dark and fed manure every now and then”.

She added: “When it comes to NAMA, everything is cloak and dagger. I don’t actually blame authorities – I blame the hierarchy. “We should be looking for the disclosure from NAMA of lands and property [within the council] and we should ask why Fingal only got 60 houses out of the batch from NAMA.”

Cllr David McGuinness (Ind) said that if there are NAMA lands available it could save the country money in dealing with the current social housing crisis.

He said that the crisis will not go away unless social houses are built to cater for the citizens of Dublin 15.

He added that there are just four pockets of land in Dublin 15 which can be used for social housing, and that acquiring NAMA lands will help to solve this problem.

He also pointed out that the councillors can rezone land which is zoned for other purposes so that social housing can be developed there.

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council said: “Discussions have already taken place with NAMA in relation to their properties and lands in the area and all suitable options are continuing to be explored.”

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