Nama ‘on track’ to deliver 20,000 homes by revised target deadline

State assets agency fell short of target at end of 2020, blaming Covid-19

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is "on track" to deliver 20,000 housing units by the end of 2021, the Dáil's spending watchdog has been told.

Nama previously told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that it would miss the target of delivering the homes by the end of 2020, blaming the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions on construction work.

Chief executive Brendan McDonagh also told the PAC last October that some house builders had been able to pay off debts and leave Nama which reduced the capacity of the agency.

He also referred to issues outside Nama’s control such as the provision of water and roads infrastructure when asked about housing developments with planning permission where construction had yet to take place.


Nama told the government in 2015 that it could potentially contribute 20,000 units to Ireland’s housing stock between 2016 and 2020.

A PAC report published in December said TDs noted Nama’s explanation of construction delays due to Covid-19 and other factors, and said the agency must ensure the target of 20,000 units was met by the end of 2021.

The PAC has been provided with a copy of a circular communication from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to senior civil servants addressing issues raised in the committee's report.

It says the Government has been advised that Nama remains “on track to achieve its 20,000 unit delivery target by end-2021”.

This is said to be “subject to current Covid-related restrictions on construction and commercial viability”.

Nama is said to have achieved the delivery of 19,000 units by the end of 2020.

This is broken down as 12,450 new residential units which were directly funded or facilitated by Nama and 6,550 that were delivered “on land previously secured to Nama for which Nama funded planning permission, enabling works, legal or holding costs”.

Loan portfolio

Separately, the letter addresses the PAC report’s finding on the sale of the Project Nantes portfolio of loans.

The PAC concluded that the sale directly resulted in a loss of about €10 million to the taxpayer.

It also found that “This, coupled with the lack of a competitive sales process, has resulted in a total potential loss to the taxpayer of approximately €29 million.”

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform letter says Nama has advised that “while they accept that there was a miscalculation made in setting the repayment target for the portfolio, they do not believe that the error negatively impacted the ultimate outcome of the sale”.

It adds: “Nama has advised that it generated €210 million cash from the debtor connection and that this was the best commercial outcome achievable at that time and resulted in an overall profit for the taxpayer of €68 million.”

It outlines how Nama has said it has “developed robust internal controls to try to ensure that no other miscalculations could occur in future”.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times