I thank the Cathaoirleach for selecting this Commencement matter and I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Fleming, for coming to the House from the Department of Finance to discuss what I think is a really important issue. I refer to the need for the Minister to make a statement on NAMA-controlled lands estimated at 426 ha with planning permission for housing and zoned residential use sufficient to build at least 20,000 new homes. I wish to put on the record of the House that these figures were provided by the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, in response to a parliamentary question tabled by Deputy Ó Broin in the Dáil. The response indicates that some 63 acres of land under NAMA control with the potential for 2,745 housing units have planning permission. That is a significant figure, and it is alarming to some extent, given that we have a housing crisis, but also given the role of NAMA and its connection with the State. The reply suggests that South Dublin County Council has the largest parcel of land, comprising 15 ha, enough to accommodate 817 housing units. I wish to acknowledge Deputy Ó Broin for raising this issue. He is on the housing committee with me.
NAMA controls all of this land for approximately 20,000 houses. That is really significant at a time when we have a housing crisis. However, when one drills down into the figures relating to this landbank and its potential for housing development, one sees the majority of it is located in the areas of the four Dublin councils, namely, Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. On top of that, there is Kildare County Council and Meath County Council. It is significant. To provide some figures in this regard: Dublin City Council has 94 ha with the potential for 7,400 housing units; Fingal County Council has 136 ha of land with the potential for 4,751 residential units; Kildare County Council has 370 ha with the potential for 1,340 housing units; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, where I live, has 7 ha with the potential for 720 housing units; and Wexford County Council has 15 ha with the potential for 436 residential units. That is an exceptional amount of land. There are other areas too.
NAMA was created by the Government in 2009 to alleviate the pressures on Irish banks. It did this by taking €74 billion of risky property loans off the hands of the five banks, namely, AIB, Bank of Ireland, the Educational Building Society, the famous Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide. What a mess those banks left and what a legacy and difficulty the then Government had. It had no option. I am not suggesting NAMA did not do the right thing or was not the right move. It was the right move. In fairness to NAMA, it has managed its portfolio and assets on behalf of the State exceptionally well. There is sometimes a failure to acknowledge the significance of NAMA and the importance of its role. We should remember that the financial banking crisis resulted from excessive, and in many cases inappropriate, lending for the property sector. I refer to the history of the crisis within the banks.
There is also their connection to the property sector, greedy and excessive development and excessive borrowing for development to make vast profits. We should now look at the assets and resources in NAMA and use these assets to address what is a national housing crisis, particularly in the Dublin region and in Kildare and Meath where there seems to be a block of this land. I am very happy the Minister of State has come to the House. I hope he will shed light on this. It is an important issue on which we and the public need to know more about.