Mixed reaction to Nama move

 

The creation of a new Nama controlled company to fast-track the acquisition of social housing has been welcomed by the Irish Council for Social Housing.

Nama Asset Residential Property Services Ltd, was incorporated last month to acquire vacant properties from Nama debtors for use by local authorities and housing associations.

Fewer than 60 social houses have been made available through Nama since the agency was established to acquire development and land loans three years ago.

Minister for Housing Jan O’Sullivan said she expected that establishment the new company, known as a special purpose vehicle, would result in more than 2,000 social houses being made available through Nama by the end of next year.

Mr Donal McManus, Executive Director of the Irish Council for Social Housing said the fast track approach would provide some relief to the many thousands of families on waiting lists.

“The establishment of a special purpose vehicle will be crucial in accelerating the transfer of properties for social housing. To date transfers have comprised a circuitous route involving a range of stakeholders such as borrowers, lenders, receivers and Nama.”

However People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett described the company as a “scam” to use public money to pay off developers and speculators debts.

"This is yet another outrageous scam and rip-off of the public being dressed up as some sort of good news story. The reality of this plan is that public money will be used to pay-off the gambling debts of developers and speculators.”

Nama’s promise of delivering 2000 dwellings for social housing was “pathetic” when there were 96,000 families on social housing lists, he said.

A list of 2,000 properties which would have been suitable for housing was drawn up by Nama last December.

However, when the agency went to acquire the properties from its debtors, 40 per cent were no longer available or suitable for social housing.

It had taken so long to establish the list of houses and apartments that many had already been sold, or let or had been put out of reach by various legal processes, while others were deemed to be no longer suitable for use by local authorities.

The new company will take possession of debtor properties it deems suitable. The acquisition of properties will allow the debtor to reduce what it owes on its Nama loan. The company then leases the property directly to the local authority or housing association.

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