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Minister rules out seizing NAMA properties for social housing

Jan O’Sullivan says most NAMA properties are part of the security for loans, and can’t simply be seized by the State.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE HOUSING MINISTER has dismissed calls from an independent TD to take all suitable housing on the books of the National Asset Management Agency into public ownership for use as social housing.

Jan O’Sullivan said the proposal was not feasible because the majority of properties being considered for social housing are offered as collateral for loans held by NAMA – and that in most cases those properties are still owned by the original borrower.

O’Sullivan told Waterford independent John Halligan that NAMA’s commercial and legal obligations precluded it from providing properties for free for social housing purposes.

NAMA was, however, committed to ensuring that social housing be provided for in mixed developments wherever possible.

O’Sullivan said that where appropriate, properties would be provided through the social housing leasing initiative, with either a local authority leasing the properties directly from an owner or receiver, or a housing body leasing or buying the property and then leasing it back to the State.

Halligan had called for the use of the properties as social housing “in view of the fact that these properties have already been paid for by the State”.

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Gavan Reilly

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