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Social housing stock dries up but Nama says it's still on course to deliver 20,000 homes by 2020

The head of Nama has hailed 2018 as “another very successful year”.

Nama's headquarters in Dublin.
Nama's headquarters in Dublin.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

THE NATIONAL ASSET Management Agency (Nama) has said it expects to return a surplus of €3.5 billion to the Exchequer by the time it completes its work in 2020 or 2021.

In its end-of-year summary report, Nama said it generated €3.3 billion in cash last year bringing the total generated since its creation in late 2009 to €44 billion. 

Chief Executive Brendan McDonagh said the agency had enjoyed “another very successful year”. 

As part of its commitment to fund the delivery of new homes throughout the country, it said that 9,700 units have been delivered through Nama funding between 2014 and 2018.

With construction under way on 3,000 homes, and planning permission received for an additional 6,400, it’s understood that Nama believes it is well on course to achieve its aim of delivering 20,000 homes by 2020.

However, its supply of social housing has dwindled considerably in recent years. 

It delivered 2,456 homes for social housing from 2012 by the end of 2017. This increased to just 2,475 by the end of 2018, providing social homes for an estimated 8,000 people.

It is understood that it was only able to transfer the stock it inherited after the financial crash into social housing, so its ability to supply these to local authorities in recent times could not continue at the same rate. 

Despite this, Nama said it has invested €350 million in remediating, completing and purchasing properties for social housing use. 

Many of these social houses are situated in former unfinished “ghost” housing estates and Name said it has reduced the number of these estates on its books from 33 in 2010 to four at the end of 2018. It also has strategies in place for the remaining four.

Focusing on the Dublin Docklands’ Strategic Development Zone for which planning permission was received in 2014, it said that his area is twice the size of the original IFSC and had delivered nearly 1 million square feet of residential space alongside 162 residential units.

Construction is also underway on 1.66 million square feet of commercial space and 444 residential units.

Nama chairman Frank Daly said: “At the end of 2018 it is salutary to recall the difficulties our country faced nine years ago when Nama started its work at the end of 2009.”

He added that Nama had helped play a “real part” in the recovery of the Irish economy. 

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Sean Murray

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