UK-led Torc starts work on 465 social housing units in PPP deal

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy

Shawn Pogatchnik

A CONSORTIUM led by UK property developers is beginning work this month on 465 social housing units, a third of them in Cork.

The Torc Partnership said it expected to finish all units in Clare, Galway, Kildare, Roscommon, Waterford and Cork by mid-2021, as part of the Government's private-public partnership (PPP) plan for 1,500 new units nationwide.

The National Development Finance Agency is providing €300m toward PPP-delivered social housing in three stages.

The first phase, awarded in March to a Macquarie Capital-backed consortium called Comhar with John Sisk as lead contractor, is already building 329 units in Dublin and 205 in Kildare, Louth and Wicklow. The final phase is yet to be awarded.

Torc is led by two London-based property investment firms, Equitix and Kajima Partnerships, which will hold majority stakes in the properties for 25 years, before transferring ownership to the local authorities.

Construction will involve a joint venture between Irish contractor JJ Rhatigan & Co and Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) of Spain, a firm active across Europe and the Americas.

OHL is currently building Ireland's new mental hospital in Portrane, north Co Dublin, to replace the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum. OHL chief executive José Antonio Fernández Gallar said the housing project would be "one of the best examples of our portfolio and demonstrate our commitment to Ireland".

Equitix chief investment officer Hugh Crossley said his firm had "a long track record in social housing, investing for the long term and providing a real partnership to Government for the duration of each concession".

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, whose department had 72,000 on the waiting list at the start of the year, said Torc's units would "contribute to our national targets for social housing delivery".

More Personal Finance

Top Stories