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NAMA can provide foundation for semi-state home builder- O'Sullivan

31 August 2017

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Labour Party spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan TD has said that legislation first proposed by Labour last summer would have refocussed NAMA’s efforts on the provision of housing.

It follows reports today that the Government is considering setting up a semi-state body to oversee house building as a means of tackling the crisis.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“In our Social and Affordable Housing Bill first published last summer, the Labour Party proposed broadening NAMA’s remit to provide social and affordable housing, and rebranding the agency as the National Housing Development and Finance Agency.

“As we argued at the time, this provided a framework for the construction of desperately needed social and affordable homes.

“It would also have allowed the State to tap into the existing expertise and resources already in place at NAMA, and negate the need for the setting up of a new quango to deal with the housing crisis.

“Other measures we proposed included implementing the recommendations of the Kenny Report, linking rent to CPI and bringing forward the vacant site levy to 2017.

“Our Bill was not supported by Government parties, and yet more than a year since ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ was launched, it is clear the crucial issue of supply has still not been tackled.

“As other parties now come around to our thinking on refocusing NAMA for the provision of housing, the crisis in the sector has worsened.

“What we now need to see from Government is a sense of urgency about ensuring social houses are built, and a national scheme that ensures homes that are built are affordable.”