Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis has condemned the slow pace of delivery of promised social housing from NAMA stock. He made his comments in light of a response by the Department of Environment to a Sinn Féin Dáil question which stated that after more than three years of NAMA only 263 units of a promised 3,949 have been delivered.
Deputy Ellis continued;
“We have the highest level of housing need this state has ever seen with nearly 100,000 on waiting lists yet the delivery of this housing is allowed to be slowed to a snail’s pace. The government needs to take action to ensure speedy delivery.
“For the 263 families who might soon be housed by this initiative it is very welcome but this is not enough. Some 3,949 units were promised. At this pace it will take another four and a half years to deliver just 2000 units.
“We have been promised a social dividend from NAMA since its foundation over three years ago but no real dividend has been achieved and what has been offered is coming too slow at too great a price to be of any significant benefit.
“These units are to be leased from bailed out developers and will return to their control when the lease runs out, requiring refurbishment at the state’s expense.
“Sinn Féin has published details of how 9000 new homes could be started on in the next two years. This fell on deaf ears as the government continues to throw money at developers with little in return for those in housing need.”
Note: The relevant PQ and answer follows:
Question No. 59
Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the delivery of the National Assets Management Agency units for social leasing; the number that are currently occupied, in the process of being occupied or ready for occupation with a breakdown based on the number that are in local authority or voluntary sector control respectively..
– Dessie Ellis.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 1st May, 2013.
Ref No: 20481/13
Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (Ms. J. O’Sullivan)
To the end of Quarter 1 2013, the transition of 263 properties from the NAMA portfolio has been completed, with contracts signed in respect of a further 76 properties. All but 24 of the 263 completed units are being made available for people that the local authorities have deemed in need of housing. These 24 units were part of a project of 58 apartments delivered in Sandyford. The other 34 apartments were delivered for social housing use and the project is a practical illustration of sustainable housing policy which aims to provide a balanced mix between social and private housing within a community.
Of the 339 units that have been completed or contracted to date, 257 units have been made available to Approved Housing Bodies with a further 82 available to Local Authorities.