NAMA and social housing

I’m in the process of reading and annotating the C&AG report for 2009, which was published about two weeks back. It’s about 600 pages in total and written in a way that makes understanding a chronology of events quite difficult. It’s taking a while.

On page 314 (vol. 2) in the ‘Leasing of Social Housing’ chapter the C&AG notes the Department of Environment’s comments on the poor up-take of a new leasing scheme. This scheme is an initiative similar to the Rental Accommodation Scheme and became available in 2004. The difference between it and the RAS is it focuses on long-term leasing of private rented housing and is available to all in need of social housing support not just people in receipt of rental supplement for more than 18 months.

“The department believes the slow uptake is due to uncertainty in the property market and the inclusion of a large number of property owners in the NAMA process. It expects that by the end of 2010 an increased supply of of suitable properties will become available for leasing through NAMA.”

Interesting, my emphasis obviously. The ‘through’ word is worth noting. I dropped a mail to the blogosphere’s resident NAMA correspondent, Jag Singh, and he thought it interesting too.

4 thoughts on “NAMA and social housing”

  1. Nothing terribly new in this. It goes back to when the NAMA legislation was being put together and it was agreed that one of the purposes of the legislation would be the “social and economic development of the State”, rather than just economic development. This allows NAMA to involve itself in socially useful activities while protecting its bottom line.

    So while developers are currently unwilling to get involved in the leasing initiative for various reasons, it’s considered likely that NAMA will view it as a useful element in managing some of the properties that will come under its control.

    1. Considered likely by journalists and observors but not alluded to in such direct terms before AFAIK.

      The “social and economic development” line is very broad. The “commercial remit” one is too. It’s not new but it’s interesting to see it referred to in the near-definite terms there. The Indo had a report two weeks back which said NAMA official had suggested possible leasing of social housing in its work, still this looks slightly more conclusive.

      Anyway cheers for the comment.

  2. Take a look at some of the PQs answered by Housing Minister Michael Finneran related to NAMA:

    http://www.kildarestreet.com/search/?s=nama&pid=112

    For example, on 29th June: “I and my Department have met with representatives of NAMA to discuss means of securing a social dividend through the long-term leasing of suitable residential units for social housing purposes, while providing a return in line with NAMA’s mandate. With NAMA now operational, this engagement is continuing and will intensify in the period ahead.”

  3. NAMA should have a wider remit than developers white elephants.Take Terminal 2 at Dublin airport.
    The closer this government gets to its end the fuller of grandiose new dreams its busy propaganda spinners are.
    Last week we had a plan to create 300,000 new jobs during the next four hairshirt years of suffering,deprivation and penury for the citizens of Ireland who have not left for distant shores.
    . The plan was conjured up by Mr Cowan’s spin doctors in the Goebbels Memorial Institute in government buildings. It will be a “great leap forward” Stalinist like, ” four year plan.
    Take for example our tourist industry-probably one of the few areas where we have it within our power to generate wealth and jobs:
    A powerful lobby group of Irish hoteliers are
    currently demanding the closure of a plethora of bankrupt hotels/golf
    course/spa, country clubs, built during the so called “Celtic Tiger
    era”, with generous tax breaks funded by the taxpayer citing unfair
    competition.

    Why should this proposal be entertained. Now that the state is
    controlling most of the banks is there any good reason against
    permitting the same banks to manage these developments.?
    Where I live in Spain,the Spanish “Paradores” are government operated
    hotels for luxury accommodation in Castles, Palaces, Fortresses,
    Convents, Monasteries and other historic buildings. There are also
    modern hotels, built in traditional style, in areas of outstanding
    beauty.

    These hotels can be found from Galicia in the North West through
    Catalunya to Andalusia in the south of Spain, the Canary Islands and
    in the Spanish cities in North Africa.

    The hotels in the Parador Group were set up by the state to use
    quality tourism to act as guardian of the national and artistic
    heritage of Spain and to assist regions with fewer economic resources.
    Guests of the Paradors receive the high standards for which the group
    is renowned at prices which are very reasonable by international
    standards.
    Troubled developments in Ireland such as the prestigious “K club” must
    be brought into mainstream affordable tourism immediately and cease to
    be the playground of the rich and powerful.
    In conjunction with regeneration of existing tourist facilities, the
    horrendously expensive “Terminal 2” at Dublin Airport must be
    mothballed and placed into a NAMA style vehicle.
    For God´s sake what is another billion Euros added to the NAMA bill,
    if it might be the salvation of the country?
    That the current government can continue to discourage foreign
    visitors from landing in Ireland ,by planning to systematically
    increase landing charges each year in order to make up the shortfall
    of revenue to pay for this “white elephant”terminal, when we as a
    nation are facing national bankruptcy, defies logic and beggars
    belief.!
    This week Mr Noel Dempsey was interviewed in Prime Time RTE, and he
    had the gall to suggest that people booking flights on line never look
    at the charges and taxes element of the cost of the ticket.
    As a very frequent traveller between my home in the Canary Islands and
    Ireland,I can vehemently give the lie to that statement.
    The charges and taxes element of the outgoing ticket I buy from Dublin
    to Gran Canaria is consistently about 38 Euros
    It frequently amounts to 50% of the cost of the ticket.
    I hope the incoming administration-when they arrive-will bring some
    sanity to this kind of head-in-the-sand stealth tax regime, which is
    currently driving Ireland towards ruin.

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