Sunday 24 September 2017

Offer of vandalised homes defended

NAMA has defended offering vandalised homes to local authorities, saying it has always been prepared to spend millions of euro doing them up. Stock Photo: PA
NAMA has defended offering vandalised homes to local authorities, saying it has always been prepared to spend millions of euro doing them up. Stock Photo: PA
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Nama has defended offering vandalised homes to local authorities, saying it has always been prepared to spend millions of euro doing them up.

Hundreds of emails seen by the Irish Independent revealed how local authorities rejected many offers of properties for social housing because they were deemed unsuitable. These included some which were "extensively vandalised".

But a spokesman for Nama said: "If a property is made available for social housing and is subsequently vandalised, Nama provides the required funding to repair the property."

He also said that the Housing Agency, local authorities and approved housing bodies were aware Nama would invest in properties to bring them up "to the highest building standards".

"Nama, to date, has invested over €100m bringing properties up to standard for sale or lease for social housing," he said.

Nama has offered 6,765 residential properties to local authorities for use as social housing since 2012. But just 2,200 of these have been taken up so far.

Reasons given by councils for not accepting properties included unsuitability due to vandalism, lack of required facilities or because they were unfinished.

Holiday homes were rejected in several counties, as were homes with storage heaters.

Some properties were rejected because they would push social housing levels in certain areas above those allowed by Government guidelines.

Suitability tests were not applied before properties were offered.

"Nama has no role in deciding on the suitability of properties for social housing or the allocation of properties where suitability has been confirmed," said the Nama spokesman.

"It is a matter for local authorities and housing bodies to confirm whether they wish to take up the properties that have been made available."

The spokesman added: "Decisions on the appropriate mix of housing tenures are a matter for the relevant statutory housing bodies."

Irish Independent

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