Dáil Question to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of empty housing units in Dublin where the development is under the remit of the National Assets Management Agency; the number of housing units required by Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; his views on the viability of using State owned properties that are under the remit of NAMA as accommodation for these families and persons as an alternative to sourcing extra funding for new properties; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (Ms. J. O’Sullivan)

To date, NAMA have identified over 3,700 units from their portfolio to be considered for social housing. Of those –

  580 are in Dublin City Council’s functional area,

  18 in South Dublin County Council;

  200 in Fingal County Council, and

  301 in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.


It should be noted that the properties under consideration are part of the security for loans that NAMA has acquired. In the majority of cases properties remain in the ownership of the original borrowers and not NAMA or the State. The remaining properties are controlled by receivers appointed by NAMA.


My Department does not hold information on the number of households on local authorities’ waiting lists and the requirement for new supply that this might generate. This figure continuously fluctuates as households are allocated housing and new households apply for housing support. Detailed information on the latest statutory assessment of housing need, carried out in March 2011 and including a breakdown by housing authority, is available on my Department’s website – www.environ.ie

or on the Housing Agency’s website at
. The table below sets out the information from the 2011 assessment in respect of the 4 Dublin authorities.

Dublin City Council
Housing Need 2011 –  8,091

South Dublin County Council
Housing Need 2011  – 8,022

Fingal County Council –

Housing Need 2011 – 5,003

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
Housing Need 2011 – 3,909

Delivery of social housing has been significantly facilitated through more flexible funding models such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme and leasing, but the Government is also committed to developing other funding mechanisms that will increase the supply of permanent new social housing. Such mechanisms include options to purchase, build to lease and the sourcing of loan finance by approved housing bodies for construction and acquisition. Added to this has been the obvious potential, across a range of housing programmes, for the Government’s objective of sourcing and providing suitable residential units for use as social housing to be aligned with the commercial objectives   of NAMA.