An offer of 1,400 housing units that the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) was to transfer for social housing purposes under the government’s Housing for All plan is already being used for this purpose.

Nama was before the Public Accounts Commission where it appeared that the 1,400 dwellings in question had already been rented to approved housing organizations (AHB) and are already occupied.

Chief Executive Officer Brendan McDonagh told the committee that there were “very few mentions of Nama in Housing For All,” while committee chair Brian Stanley described the 1,400 figure as “disappointing to say the least.”

The committee repeatedly questioned Mr. McDonagh about Nama’s contribution to increasing the national housing stock in the context of the housing crisis.

Mr McDonagh had said in his opening statement that delivery of the 2,400 units of Nama’s stock that currently have a building permit or are under construction will be “very difficult” as the agency can only support projects that will generate profits.

He said the agency has so far offered 7,000 units to local authorities for social housing but only 2,600 have been accepted by the councils, a figure Matt Carthy of Sinn Féin called “not great. “.

“Personally, I felt that all of the properties were suitable,” McDonagh said. “The comments we received were that it was the wrong type of product or the wrong location. The feedback from the housing agency was that the local authorities felt they had sufficient housing standards in the areas where we were offering.

“It was not our decision,” he said.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy asked her why the 22,000 residential housing units they hope to deliver in the future include around 19,000 units to be delivered by private developers and whether this amounts to “increasing” production. of the agency.

Mr McDonagh said he “would not agree to this at all”.

“A number of debtors with us have paid off their debt to the taxpayer. When they do that, they go elsewhere, but these units that we indirectly count would not have seen the light of day without our support, ”he said.

Regarding the impact of Covid-19 on the demand for commercial office space, particularly in the Dublin docks, Mr McDonagh acknowledged that whether the pandemic had occurred in 2014 or 2015, before the development of this ground, “I would have been very worried”.

“Fortunately,” he said, “it hadn’t been.

The CEO of Nama was also asked by Ms Murphy about the circumstances under which the Office of Public Works did not bid on the Aspen Project portfolio in 2013, a situation which saw the Garda command center in Harcourt Square fall in the hands of a private developer. Hibernia REIT.

“It was always up to the OPW to make an offer. This is not the case for some reason, ”replied McDonagh. “It was out of our control.”

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