Question No. 10

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will contact each local authority to encourage them to engage with the National Asset Management Agency on lands within their portfolio, which have planning permission granted or is zoned, that could be used for social housing; his views that such a process could help to alleviate the current housing crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 5th November, 2015.

Ref No: 38229/15

REPLY by Minister of State for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Paudie Coffey )

The Government has enabled and facilitated NAMA in playing an important role in the delivery of housing supply generally and social housing in particular. In that context NAMA affords public bodies first option on the acquisition of land and property required for demonstrable public purposes.

NAMA is also funding the construction of new residential properties to help meet demand in the major urban centres. Last year, NAMA funded nearly 50% of new housing output in Dublin despite having less than one-third of residentially zoned development land in Dublin. Since the start of 2014, NAMA has funded the construction of over 2,000 new houses and apartments in the greater Dublin area.

In Budget 2016, the Minister for Finance announced that NAMA, having carried out a review of residentially zoned sites under the control of its debtors and receivers, is aiming to fund the delivery of a target 20,000 additional new homes before the end of 2020. This is in addition to NAMA’s ongoing and central role in facilitating the delivery of new commercial and residential space in the Dublin Dockland’s SDZ. Residential developments funded by NAMA are subject to the same planning and regulatory requirements as all other developments and this includes policy relating to social housing delivery as set out in Local Authority Housing Strategies in line with Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

Given the vital importance of ensuring that, for social and economic reasons, new residential supply is delivered as quickly as possible, NAMA will work closely with local authorities and with utilities to ensure that all relevant bodies co-operate effectively to deliver the programme.

In the context of social housing delivery in particular, NAMA has had ongoing engagement, since December 2011, with my Department and the Housing Agency in identifying properties that might potentially be suitable for social housing purposes. To the end of September 2015, a total of 1,600 NAMA residential properties have been delivered for s ocial housing use, comprising 1,241 completed properties and a further 359 that have been contracted and where completion work is on-going. A further 486 properties are considered as being active transactions whereby terms are agreed or active negotiation is on-going by all parties concerned or where a detailed appraisal is being carried out. An additional 440 properties are to be further appraised. Overall, I expect that in excess of 2,000 units for social housing purposes will be secured from the engagement with NAMA.