Government wants Nama to provide as much social housing 'as possible'


The Government wants the National Asset Management Agency to provide as many houses as possible for those seeking accommodation, Minister of State for the Environment Jan O’Sullivan has said.

“It is a complex issue but the Government is trying, in so far as possible, to get as many such units as possible for social housing to provide homes for people,” she said.

Ms O’Sullivan said that since December of last year Nama had identified more than 3,800 properties as being potentially available for social housing.

It was anticipated that, in the main, suitable properties would be secured through leasing arrangements with the property owners or receivers or directly with Nama.

The local authority would have the option of leasing the properties directly.

The preferred approach might be to arrange for an approved housing body to secure the properties through lease or, in some cases, purchase and make them available for social housing support through payment and availability agreements, said Ms O’Sullivan.

An option to purchase at a future date could also form part of leasing arrangements.

She said that at the end of August, 133 housing units had been provided from the portfolio identified by Nama.

Brian Stanley (SF) said 16,881 units remained empty in unfinished estates, even as 100,000 family units awaited housing within the State.

He said a scheme could be devised whereby tenants could rent a property and own it after a period of time. He added there were empty apartment blocks outside Dublin that could be used for the homeless.