Housing Federation welcomes set up of NAMA company to fast-track purchase of social housing

Mr Donal McManus, Executive Director of the Irish Council for Social Housing, reacted to the news ‘The establishment of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be crucial in accelerating the transfer of properties for social housing. To date transfers have comprised a circuitous route involving a range of stakeholders such as borrowers, lenders, receivers and NAMA’.


He added, ‘Non -profit housing associations, such as early examples from Dublin and Carlow, demonstrate what can be achieved but if a special purpose vehicle is developed as a fast track system this would allow for even a much greater scale of transfers. This can provide some relief to the many thousands of families on waiting lists as well as recreating sustainable communities in utilising vacant and unfinished properties’.


It will also be key that revenue funding for leasing under this initiative will be sustained by Government especially with the capital programme for social housing being cut by over 95% by 2016 since its’ peak in 2008. Mr McManus concluded, ‘Continued Government revenue funding will be essential in assisting housing associations cover the cost of leases as well servicing private loans that housing associations which will have to raise in purchasing property’


  • The Irish Council for Social Housing is the National Federation of social housing organisations with up to 300 housing associations affiliated nationwide.
  • Housing associations now provide over 27,000 homes for families, elderly, homeless people and people with disabilities.
  • In 2010, the Capital Loan and Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) which provided housing for families was terminated. Nearly 10,000 homes were provided under this funding scheme.
  • The Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) which provides homes for the most marginalized and vulnerable. The budget for this scheme has been cut by 56% from €113m in 2010 to just €50m in 2012
  • The capital programme for housing for 2012 is €390 which is an overall cut of 72% since 2008. This is a severe reduction in the funding available for purchase of units, new build where needed or rescue schemes for distressed mortgage holders.
  • Further cuts are planned by 2016 to reduce the capital budget for social housing down to €92m  which will dramatically impact on any serious provision of social housing in Ireland.

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