Half of the two thousand properties that had been put forward by NAMA to be considered for social housing have been deemed unsuitable or have been withdrawn.

The information was obtained in reply to a parliamentary question from Sinn Fein, who described the figures as shocking.

Tonight a spokesperson for the Minister for Housing, Jan O'Sullivan, said the government is working with NAMA to provide 2,000 housing units.

Last December the government announced that NAMA would be making 2,000 houses or apartments available for social housing.

They were to be made available through leasing agreements with local authorities and voluntary housing groups.

More than four months on and the Department of Environment says that of the 2000 properties, 697 have been deemed unsuitable by housing authorities, 344 have been withdrawn from the scheme, most by their owners as many have been sold or let. Negotiations have commenced in relation to 700 properties.

Sinn fein who obtained the information through a parliamentary question say it is not good enough as 98,000 people are on social housing waiting list.

The party's housing spokesman Dessie Ellis said it would be a huge disappointment to people on the waiting list.

He also expressed concern about a lack of clarity about the process and also that the NAMA properties will be leased.

A spokesperson for the Minister for Housing, Jan O'Sullivan said it is the firm intention of the government to work with NAMA to deliver 2000 housing units.

He added that it is important that the units are suitable for families and located in areas with community infrastructure.

That is why he added a significant number identified in the first tranche have not been proceed with.

The spokesperson added that work is proceeding on progressing 700 units and the minister is determined to see the full 2000 units delivered.