Housing charity wants developers barred from Nama talks

The country’s largest housing charity today demanded top builders and developers be kept out of consultations on the State’s bad bank scheme.

The Respond group said representatives from the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) should be barred from Nama discussions because they would only promote their members’ interests.

“We have witnessed a massive push in the past week by certain developers and the CIF to influence politicians with regard to the legislation establishing Nama,” Respond spokeswoman Aoife Walsh said.

“Given the role the CIF and its members played in the current economic crisis, this is simply unacceptable.”

The CIF, whose director general Tom Parlon last week expressed keenness to make an input on Nama, dismissed Respond’s calls as extremely short-sighted.

“The industry has a key role to play in the workout being proposed by Nama and in the longer term development and growth of the economy,” a spokesman said.

“The industry’s perspective and experience is vital if we are to ensure that Nama operates effectively and efficiently and achieves its overall objective of restoring confidence in the banking system and promoting economic recovery.”

Respond also appealed for additional protection for homeowners in financial difficulty.

Ms Walsh claimed more than 25,000 families were currently in mortgage arrears - an increase of almost 80% on last year.

“The government and Minister Lenihan must do more to help these people as there simply isn’t enough social housing available to families evicted from their home,” she added.

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