On this side of the Border, NAMA might only have sold less than 20 homes so far this year for social housing – a disappointing figure compared with the 2,000 home hoopla spouted by Minister Phil Hogan last December, but a disappoint which appears to be more a reflection of government inaction than any dilatoriness on NAMA’s part – but today we learn that NAMA is supporting a major new social housing scheme in Lisburn, just outside Belfast in county Antrim.
When you actually delve into the detail of the announcement – shown here on the Clanmil Housing Association website together with a fine photo of the NAMA chairman Frank Daly and NAMA Head of Asset Recovery, Ronnie Hanna – what NAMA is actually doing is agreeing an option agreement with the social housing organisation which MAY see the development of the 16 acre former site of the Hilden Mill complex developed by 2014. The number of planned new homes is not specified and the scheme is planned as mixed use residential, retail, office scheme. It is not clear if NAMA is providing funding for the development.
Hilden Mill was attacked by vandals in May 2011 and gutted by fire. The developer Galliard Homes is in NAMA.
Frank Daly is quoted as saying “I am delighted with this news today. This agreement with Clanmil is extremely important for NAMA. It reflects NAMA’s determination to work in partnership with the social housing sector in Northern Ireland to provide affordable housing solutions through our portfolio. It also reflects our commitment to work with the wider State and public sector to develop and deliver, in tandem with our own commercial objectives, a range of initiatives which will bring social and economic benefits to Northern Ireland.”