Some 600 new houses are set to be built in Galway on development land currently under NAMA control, but a local TD has demanded the organisation "step up its efforts" to dispose of more land it controls to "address the shortage of houses".
According to a briefing document on NAMA from the Department of Finance that was given to Deputy Grealish and other independent TDs, NAMA has an interest in residential sites capable of delivering more than 52,000 residential units throughout the State, and "will fund residential development in locations if and as they become commercially viable".
More than 10,000 of these were completed, under construction, or had planning permission, while almost another 10,000 had planning applications submitted or due to be submitted. Of this 20,000, three per cent (or 600 ) could be delivered in Galway. Separately, Finance Minister Michael Noonan, in reply to a Dáil question, says there are currently 48 hectares of residential development land in Galway controlled by NAMA debtors and receivers.
Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish said it was vital construction begin as soon as possible on all of the residential development land under NAMA control in Galway.
"NAMA needs to act quickly," he said. "It’s going to take some time until we get to the stage where these homes are constructed and people can move in, so speed is really important to get them started. We’re also told that NAMA has an interest in 35 vacant residential units in Galway — these need to be immediately put on the market, which is starved of properties at the moment."
The document also said NAMA had delivered almost 140 properties as social housing to the local authorities in Galway. In Galway city, 196 houses have been delivered to the Galway City Council, out of a total of 203 identified by NAMA as potentially suitable.
A lower figure of 32 units was delivered in the county area — where NAMA identified 135 potential homes. However the Galway County Council deemed the majority of them unsuitable and the remainder were sold on the private market. NAMA’s portfolio includes 35 vacant residential units in Galway, out of total of 357 across the State.