Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (31)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

31. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Finance his plans to co-operate with the Minister of Housing, Planning and Local Government with a view to using the remaining land NAMA has control of to build social and affordable housing; if he will direct NAMA to cease selling land it controls under section 14 of the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21447/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

It is important to note that assets often referred to as "NAMA land" or "NAMA properties" are not owned by NAMA.  NAMA owns loans.  Such property is owned by private persons who owe money to NAMA ("NAMA debtors") and serves as collateral for those amounts owed. All borrowers have the right to maximise the value of the property which secures his/her loan.  NAMA cannot force a borrower to take action which would reduce his/her repayment capacity, such as prohibiting the sale of their property.  To do so would breach the borrower's property rights protected under Article 43 of the Constitution.

Therefore, I cannot accede to your request to use my powers under the NAMA Act in this instance, as I am advised that such a direction is not one lawfully open to me in the current circumstances.

However, based on Part V planning requirements, it is estimated that up to 720 social housing units were delivered by NAMA since 2014. Under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2010, 10% of the properties must be provided to local authorities for social and affordable housing. For certain developments, the Part V requirements may have been fulfilled through alternative arrangements at the request of the local authorities concerned.  

I would also draw the Deputy's attention to the fact that NAMA has delivered 2,474 units for use as social housing as part of its Social Housing programme, excluding houses which were provided under Part V arrangements. NAMA identified vacant units within its debtors’ stock and offered them to local authorities and approved housing bodies. Where demand was confirmed by local authorities, through the Housing Agency, funding was provided to purchase these properties, and where necessary, complete them in full compliance with all statutory requirements prior to delivery to the housing bodies. To date, NAMA has invested approximately €350 million in remediating, completing and purchasing properties for social housing use. NAMA’s special vehicle, NARPS, purchases suitable units for onward leasing to local authorities and approved housing bodies.