Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville
LIMERICK City and County Council has purchased just four properties for “housing need” from the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) so far, according to council correspondence.
Confirmation of the figure was received by Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville, who requested the information from the local authority, ahead of a metropolitan district council meeting last week.
This follows a recent report by the Irish Times this month, which claimed that the council had been, to date, offered 147 properties by Nama, 55 of which were confirmed with having demand, 70 with no demand and 16 rejected for “sustainable community reasons”.
A statement issued to Cllr Prendiville said that Nama offered the council, in total, 19 properties, and 16 of which were “confirmed for housing need” and that four had been purchased.
The AAA councillor expressed confusion over the two different figures, and said that he would “look into it. There have been reports that councils have been turning down a number of properties by Nama, and that some councils were not taking them because they weren’t in the area that they wanted and other reasons.”
He said that another reason for the council rejecting a property is in the event the property is located in a community with a lot of social housing.
“So, for example, if it is in a Regeneration area, they may not take it. And that doesn’t seem very practical, given the scale of the housing crisis today.”
A monthly council report for December says there are 3,511 people on the housing waiting list in Limerick city and county. This is a reduction of 180 people on the list since November 2016.
“The push for me to do this, is that there is a lot of scrutiny on Nama at the moment and the role that Nama could play in actually solving the housing crisis, and actually putting its vast resources in terms of properties and in terms of money that could be used for public good, and to provide housing. It seems that those resources aren’t being used in that way.”