Sunday 20 October 2019

Less than half NAMA offers taken up in the county

By David Tucker

A little under half the NAMA housing units offered to Wexford County Council up to the end of September were taken up by the local authority.

A council spokesperson said 150 units were offered and out of these 64 houses and four apartments were taken on.

The figures were obtained by this newspaper following reports that local authorities have been turning down offers of thousands of properties from NAMA.

In the provision of social housing, local authorities face a number of challenges - primarily the demand far exceeding the supply.

With the population of the Irish State currently at its highest in 150 years at just over 4.5 million people, 21,000 additional units will be required over each of the next three years to meet demand.

Local authorities do not turn down available housing units unless there are strong reasons for doing so.

At the end September 2015, a total of 1,600 residential properties have been delivered for social housing providers comprising of 1,241 completed properties with a further 359 that have been contracted where completion work is on-going.

However councils are committed to providing high quality social housing. Local authorities cannot simply accept units as they are presented.

The County and City Management Association (CCMA), commenting on behalf of the councils said, 'we must build sustainable communities in line with key government priorities, not just find quick-fix solutions to a complex problem'.

Across the country, local authorities continue to reform service delivery to meet demand where supply allows.

'We have reassigned staff and resources to tackle the current situation and will continue to do everything in our collective power to meet society's demand for housing, especially for homeless and vulnerable people, and those who cannot meet their housing needs.' Minister for Finance Michael Noonan says €414 million is currently allocated to social housing nationally.

Wexford People

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