A spokesperson for the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has criticised UCDSU’s call for the release of properties held by the bank.

A statement sent to The University Observer last night cites a misunderstanding of NAMA’s relation to the properties in question. “It is a common misconception that NAMA owns individual properties such as houses or apartments.  It does not. Like any bank,  NAMA owns loans which are secured, in turn, by individual properties but is not the owner of those properties.” The statement says that for this reason “it is not in NAMA’s powers to ‘release’ properties to accommodate students.”

The statement also challenges UCDSU’s claim that vacant NAMA properties are contributing to price inflation in the housing market, saying that “It should also be noted that the vast majority of residential units (houses or apartments) which are linked to loans held by NAMA are fully occupied already rather than lying vacant.”

UCDSU have responded by saying that they “never insinuated that NAMA owned any properties” and were “merely calling for them to ensure that all potential properties even at processing stage are made available to the market on a short term rental basis.”

Regarding availability of vacant NAMA properties, UCDSU have also said “We believe that all residences connected to NAMA loans should be made available not just ‘the vast majority’ as they have stated.”