Councils rejected over 2,000 Nama homes for social housing

Local authorities refused homes offered by agency as there was ‘no demand’ for them

Local authorities rejected more than 1,000 homes offered by Nama for social housing because of a lack of demand for housing in their areas. File photograph: Frank Miller

Local authorities rejected more than 1,000 homes offered by Nama for social housing because of a lack of demand for housing in their areas. File photograph: Frank Miller

 

Local authorities rejected more than 1,000 homes offered by Nama for social housing because of a lack of demand for housing in their areas.

Of more than 6,600 houses and apartments offered by Nama, some 16 per cent were turned down by city and county councils because there was “no demand” for social housing.

A further 1,300 were rejected because their use would result in an over-concentration of social housing tenants.

More than 2,000 homes were offered to the four Dublin local authorities but only 776 were accepted.

While the Dublin councils did not reject housing on the grounds of a lack of demand, two local authorities, South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council, turned down large numbers of homes because the concentration of social housing tenants would prevent the development of “sustainable communities”.

A small number of homes in Dublin city, Fingal and Dún Laoghaire – fewer than 40 in total – were rejected as “unsuitable” for social housing.

Just under 6,640 homes were offered by Nama to local authorities across the State between 2011 and the middle of last year.

Of these, 2,500 have been accepted for social housing use.

A substantial number of homes originally offered by Nama (1,647) were subsequently not available for use, in the main because they were sold to the private sector after the offers were made.

However, a detailed breakdown of the homes offered to 31 local authorities, obtained by Fianna Fáil under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that 1,064 were rejected because councils claimed they had no demand for the properties offered, and 1,314 – one in five – homes were declined because local authorities felt their acceptance would result in the a poor tenure mix in an area, due to an over-concentration of social housing tenants.

Another 72 were rejected because they were considered “not suitable” for social housing tenants.

Rural councils

The local authorities that declined housing because of a lack of demand were predominantly rural.

Leitrim County Council turned down all 35 homes offered to it because it had no demand; Roscommon accepted just 10 of the 136 homes offered to it, citing no demand in 64 per cent of cases; Tipperary similarly rejected most homes offered – 56 per cent because of a lack of demand, and 35 per cent to guard against developing an unsustainable community.

However, take-up was also low in Dublin. Together, the four Dublin local authorities accepted just 38 per cent of the homes offered to them.

Dublin City Council had the highest take-up acquiring 47 per cent of the 872 homes offered to it.

It rejected 223 because of the tenure mix which would result, this included one development where Nama offered 198 homes in a single development, but the council decided to take 48 only.

South Dublin County Council had the lowest take up of the four Dublin councils accepting just 21 per cent of the homes offered.

It rejected 442 apartments in one development in the interests of managing a sustainable community.