Councils take just a third of available Nama social housing

Nama offered almost 7,000 residential properties for social housing purposes.

Brendan McDonagh (Brian Lawless/PA)
Brendan McDonagh (Brian Lawless/PA)

Local councils in Ireland took fewer than 3,000 social housing units offered by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) last year, despite almost 7,000 being available.

Nama offered 6,984 residential properties for social housing but demand was confirmed by local authorities for 2,717.

By March this year, 2,474 homes had been delivered by Nama for social housing, providing homes for more than 8,000 people, Nama’s annual report and financial statements for 2017 said.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Housing, there are almost 10,000 people homeless across Ireland, including 3,755 children.

The increase in the number of homeless children, by almost 500 between January and February this year, is the largest monthly increase since current data gathering began in mid-2014.

Nama, set up after the financial crisis in 2010, on Wednesday reported an after-tax profit of 481 million euro for 2017 – its seventh consecutive year of profitability – and increased its projected lifetime surplus to 3.5 billion euros.

Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said 2017 was “a landmark year”.

During 2017, Nama generated 2.56 billion euro in cash, including 2.43 billion euro from the sale of loans and property.

Between the start of 2014 and the end of May 2018, Nama said it funded the construction of 7,300 new homes, with 3,800 units still under construction or with funding approved.

Paschal Donohoe said it is ‘important to recognise the contribution’ made by Nama (Brian Lawless/PA)

Paschal Donohoe, minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, said: “We are well aware that recovery is not yet complete, and a recovering economy is not the same as a recovered society.

“There is still work to be done, and while Nama cannot solve all of our difficulties it’s important to recognise the contribution they have made.”

Nama acquired loans worth 26.2 billion euro at the time of acquisition in 2010, and the agency said it expects to fully repay the 31.8 billion euro borrowed, and to have repaid in full the 30.2 billion euro Senior Debt.

It expects to repay the 1.6 billion euro subordinated debt in full by its first call date in 2020.

A spokesman from The Department for Housing said: “All properties offered by Nama were looked at for social housing.”

He added that “1,843 properties were sold or privately let by the owners or receivers since the initial offer was made to the local authority so are not available.

“Of the 5,141 units that were available – 2,424 were considered unsuitable by reference to sustainable planning and housing policy, or are located in areas with no social housing demand.”

Press Association

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