herald

Saturday 25 March 2017

'Secret' meeting to seek answers over Nama homes snub

Guss O'Connell wants action Picture: Marc O'Sullivan
Guss O'Connell wants action Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Councillors are to hold a meeting behind closed doors to discuss why a local authority rejected 446 Nama homes.

Independents 4 Change councillor Ruth Nolan told the Herald that members of South Dublin County Council (SDCC) would meet today in private.

Handful

"We as councillors were told nothing about why the council rejected the homes. I first heard about it by reading the local press three months ago," she said.

It was revealed in January that three local authorities, where more than 4,500 families are waiting for a home, accepted only a handful of social units on offer.

Nama said it had offered city and county councils a total of 6,941 homes for use as social housing, but only 2,378 had been delivered.

SDCC had the lowest take-up of the four Dublin councils, accepting only 21pc of the homes offered. It rejected 446 in one development.

Ms Nolan said she and Mayor Guss O'Connell had put a motion forward to have a "closed door" meeting to discuss the issue.

"Three months on, we demand answers," she said. "The council said they rejected the homes because they didn't want concentrated social housing in the area, but other options could have been explored.

"We're holding the meeting to see why we weren't informed, why there wasn't other options for the homes and to ask where these houses would have been located."

Ms Nolan said the rejected homes could have been used under the affordable housing and rent-to-buy schemes as well as for social housing.

Urgency

Mr O'Connell said: "We, as elected members, are sitting with the executive to show the urgency of the housing situation."

He said it was not "unusual" to have a closed meeting, and added that it was necessary to "get answers".

"We often have both closed door meetings and open meetings to ask the hard questions and get straight answers," he said.

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