Surprise as council fails to take up offer to acquire Nama properties

Despite a bulging housing waiting list, councillors have expressed surprise Cork County Council has not taken up an offer to acquire residential properties from Nama.

Councillors have expressed surprise at the executive decision, as the neighbouring city council along with voluntary housing agencies have, so far, acquired 89 properties.

In 2012, the county council was among a number of local authorities which advised Nama of their housing needs. But to date, Cork Co Council has not acquired leases on any properties.

Cork City Council, meanwhile, purchased 53 properties, while two voluntary housing bodies operating in the city and county acquired a further 36.

Cllr Des O’Grady (SF) said he was taken aback when he discovered the lack of action. “I was very surprised at this, especially as we have a housing crisis out there. There are 6448 people on the waiting list, and there are lot of people out there who can’t afford soaring rents on the private market.”

The newly-elected councillor said he had discovered from NAMA it had identified 4,650 properties nationwide which would be suitable for people on the housing waiting list.

The council’s chief executive officer Tim Lucey confirmed that he would pursue the issue with NAMA and would issue a report to councillors in due course.

However, there was better news on the housing front when officials confirmed to Cllr Rachel McCarthy (SF) they had ploughed back “every cent gained from selling houses off to tenants” into improving their own housing stock. The county council secured €4.3 million through the Tenant Purchase Scheme last year, by disposing of 76 houses.

Mr Lucey said the money was being used solely to improve the council’s own housing stock.


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