Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kelly calls for Wexford NAMA properties to be leased to local authorities

Wexford Borough Cllr Anthony Kelly has welcomed the news that NAMA plans to make 2500 properties which they currently hold available for rent to local authorities who in turn will be able to use these buildings for the purpose of social housing. The Sinn Féin rep also stated that while NAMA had been slow off the mark to facilitate the use of vacant properties to alleviate the social housing waiting list, part of the blame had to lie with national government policy.

“The announcement that NAMA is to make up to 2500 properties available to local authorities to rent for social housing through the creation of the NAMA Asset Residential Property Services Limited company is to be welcomed,” Cllr Kelly said. “98,000 families are currently on the social housing waiting list across the state. This is about 200,000 people waiting for a home while vacant, often boarded up buildings litter our nation.”

“The rent allowance crisis has shown the government’s split personality view on social housing. On one hand they are introducing a rent cap, endangering the homes of families reliant on rent supplement and telling them that rent allowance is a temporary measure for those waiting for social housing, while on the other hand they are doing nothing to make social housing available despite the huge availability of empty houses.”

“Recently it was brought to my attention that there may be up to seventy vacant houses in the greater Bridgetown area. Many of these are boarded up, an eyesore on a growing village and a danger to its young population. At least some are eligible to be seized by the NAMA Asset Residential Property Services Limited company.”

“While NAMA have done little up until now to aid the provision of social housing, they cannot be held solely responsible for what has been an obvious blunder. While thousands of families in this county have lingered on the housing list, what has our county council done to enquire into the utilisation of vacant properties for social housing? Have they entered any talks with NAMA now that it has been confirmed that housing will be made available?”

“We know that up to 200 properties in Dublin and Cork are already been tabled to be taken over by the end of the year. It takes two to tango, and if we want vacant Wexford properties to be utilised as homes for Wexford families then our local and national authorities must enter meaningful dialogue with NAMA now.”

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