Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (68, 69)

Barry Cowen

Question:

68. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the number of homes that the National Asset Management Agency has made available for the provision of social housing since March 2011 to date in 2012. [56139/12]

View answer

Barry Cowen

Question:

69. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the number of homes that he anticipates the National Asset Management Agency will make available for the provision of social housing in 2013. [56140/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 and 69 together.

NAMA advises that it has identified 3,879 residential properties controlled by its debtors and receivers as being available for social housing provision. This represents a very substantial contribution by NAMA in the context of the limited number of available residential properties in Ireland controlled by its debtors and receivers and the range of policy measures being adopted by this Government to meet demand for social housing provision.

The onus for determining the suitability for social housing of the units identified by NAMA rests, in the first instance, with the local authorities, which assess, in conjunction with the Housing Agency, the demand for identified houses and apartments by reference to criteria including the avoidance of undue segregation in housing within specific developments and areas. Once local authorities have confirmed demand for units, the Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are, through the Housing Agency, asked to confirm and progress their interest in leasing or purchasing the units.

I am advised that to date demand has been confirmed by the local authorities for 1,484 of the properties that NAMA has made available. Another 841 properties are being evaluated bringing the overall total that may be deemed suitable to 2,325 potentially. The local authorities have confirmed that there is no demand in respect of 902 of the properties. I am advised by NAMA that, in the time required by local authorities to assess and confirm demand for units, 652 properties have been sold or privately let by their owners or duly appointed receivers.

Of the properties for which demand has been confirmed, 133 were delivered for social housing during the year, contract terms have been signed or agreed in respect of a further 84 properties and negotiations are at an advanced stage in relation to the majority of the remaining units. A further 563 residential properties are also subject to active negotiation by the various AHBs which brings the overall total residential properties completed and committed to 704 for 2012.

I am advised by NAMA that once demand has been confirmed for units and contracts signed there is no impediment to the early delivery of properties by its debtors and receivers for social housing. I am further advised by NAMA that it recently established a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to acquire units from its debtors and receivers where necessary to speed up their direct leasing to housing authorities. NAMA advises that once the AHBs have confirmed their demand for and contracted to lease properties it will be in a position to make them available through the SPV.

NAMA is working very closely with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Minister of State for Housing and Planning in relation to this very important initiative and all parties are committed to the maximum possible delivery of residential units in 2013. The Deputy will appreciate that the housing authorities have a key role in this regard and the Housing Agency is working very closely with these bodies to facilitate delivery of units. However, the pace at which units are delivered is not controlled by NAMA and I am satisfied that NAMA has brought the initiative as far as it can at this point in time.