Government confident of NAMA social housing target

Thursday 31 January 2013 23.15
Social housing process speeded up by establishment of special company
Social housing process speeded up by establishment of special company

The Government has said it expects to reach its target of getting 2,000 residential units from NAMA for social housing.

Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan said the process has been speeded up through the establishment by NAMA of a special company to take ownership of properties where there is an established demand.

There is also now an agreed framework for leases between NAMA and approved housing bodies, which are now usually voluntary housing organisations rather than local county and city councils.

One such body, Túath Housing Association, has purchased 68 properties through NAMA.

Fifteen of the units are in the Scotch Hall complex in Drogheda which was visited today by Ms O'Sullivan.

A change in the law means that housing associations can now borrow money themselves to secure the social housing in this case from Bank of Ireland.

The 15 units in Scotch Hall cost just under €1.5m with the state contributing 30%, the private borrowing was 63% and Túath provide the remaining 7% themselves.

Because the original developer had bought out the Part V obligations, the Scotch Hall development still has now just 25% social housing.

NAMA had offered a total of 3,949 units nationwide but 981 were deemed unsuitable usually because they were in a remote location.

Another 652 were withdrawn because the original property owner had managed to sell or let them on the private market.

Of the 1,476 remaining, the Government has delivered 203 units already while another 637 are in train.

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