Nama’s 20,000 opportunities - An answer to housing crisis?

Nama announced yesterday that it has identified sites linked to its debtors where 25,000 housing units might be built.

Nama’s 20,000 opportunities - An answer to housing crisis?

The agency also said funding is in place to deliver 4,500 houses and apartments in Dublin over the next 18 months. That, however, does not mean they will be delivered. Even if they are, and let us hope they will be, that leaves over 20,000 opportunities unresolved at a time when a housing crisis is driving a new property bubble in our capital.

As a society we seem to lack ambition and urgency around the delivery of essential infrastructure — a national children’s hospital, broadband services to every community, the Corrib gasline or, say, a new deep-water facility in Cork Port. Is it inefficiency, laziness or smugness that encourages this it’ll-do-next-year negativity? Whatever it is, we can no longer afford it. Report after report, some several years old, warned of the housing crisis now facing thousands of citizens yet our response has been far too slow.

Maybe Nama, the banks that might fund these developments, the relevant planners and the building workers who would surely welcome such an initiative, might embrace the attitude expressed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a different context earlier this week: we should be far more interested in how something might be done rather than the reasons for not doing it. The families struggling to get a home would surely cheer such a change in attitude.

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