LABOUR TD Ciarán Lynch has welcomed progress on NAMA social housing measures.
“I would like to warmly welcome today’s announcement that Nama is to fast-track the acquisition of social housing between and that and additional 2,000 social houses will be made available by the end of next year.
“This is a great result for Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan and I would like to congratulate her for the great work she has done in this regard and I very much welcome the support voiced by organisations like Respond and the Irish Council for Social Housing for today’s development.
“Of course, more needs to be done and I believe that there are many properties around the country that could be made available for use by families under social housing schemes.
“I would also urge Nama and the various housing authorities to look at how a rent-to-buy provision could be included in the mix of solutions that are being brought forward to address housing shortages.
“To my mind it is a far better and realistic situation whereby prospective first time buyers could rent a home with an option to buy the property after a couple of years than having houses vacant along with them accruing security, maintenance and other costs.
“However despite my own view that more options to deal with these properties could be pursued, I am very surprised to hear Richard Boyd Barrett’s decision to come out against today’s announcement and this is very difficult to fathom when one considers the level of social housing need that exists particularly so in urban areas .
“Richard professes to be a campaigner for better housing so I would have thought that this measure that will result in 2,000 additional social housing units being made available is one that would be welcomed.
“I don’t know about Richard, but I know that in my own area, there is no shortage of people who would jump at the opportunity to be offered one of these new homes.
“When it comes to embracing innovative measures to tackle the housing crisis, it is very much a case of Richard the Faint Hearted,” he said.