Over three years of NAMA and just 179 homes delivered for social housing – Ellis

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has described progress on social housing from NAMA properties as very disappointing. He made his comments in response to a parliamentary question which found that just 179 homes have been delivered for social housing despite NAMA being in existence since late 2009 and its many commitments to providing a social dividend.

Deputy Ellis continued;

“This just isn’t good enough. I welcomed the renewed commitment by NAMA last year to provide 3,949 units for use for social housing but so little has been delivered in a time when housing waiting lists are bursting at the seams and people are finding it harder to keep their home or to afford spiralling rents.

“The social lease system pursued by the government is a lucrative one for developers within NAMA who will have their properties’ rents hassle free and will be returned their properties once the lease ends. These are developers who have been bailed out by the people already and are being fed by NAMA but have repaid nothing in the way of social dividend.

“Thousands of NAMA units which could be new homes for people who have been waiting years are lying idle. The Minister for Housing and the department need to get tough with developers and NAMA and to ensure this is delivered on soon. We cannot let another year go by where NAMA houses only a handful of people. We have waited long enough.

“The minister must also pave the way to allow local authorities to take over unfinished estates which have no bond and are in the control of a financial institution or NAMA so that these sites can be completed and people can finally be housed. This is all about the political will to provide much needed housing, either the government has it or it doesn’t.”

Issues with Greyhound

Please see below response regarding issues we raised with National consumer Agency about the service Greyhound are providing.

In relation to Greyhound Waste Collection, the NCA is currently engaging with the waste collection sector as a whole in relation to several issues. With regard to Greyhound Waste, we have received a commitment from the company that it will amend certain terms in it’s standard consumer contract which the NCA thinks are unfair to consumers. This commitment was made in an Undertaking to the Agency signed on 19th December, 2012 (a link to relevant information on our website is attached below). This Undertaking committed Greyhound to refunding those consumers who have already had credit balances forfeited. From 18th January, 2013, the company’s new terms and conditions state at 10.5 that “Any credit balance in the customer’s account will be refunded in the event that the contract is terminated , by either party within the 12 month period”. However, it should be noted that no timeframe for refunds is mentioned.