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Committee Report calls for increased protections for people who discover defects in their homes – Ó Broin

24 January, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD


Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the Government to act on the recommendations contained in Oireachtas Housing committee report ‘Safe as Houses’ which was published this morning

The report, which was authored by Deputy Ó Broin, received cross party support at the housing committee.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Ó Broin said

“This report makes 26 recommendations on how ensure better compliance with building standards and to strengthen consumer protection for homeowners and council tenants.

“For most people, the purchase of a home or the signing of a council tenancy is one of the biggest commitments they will make in a lifetime.  As residential construction resumes in this State, we need to ask if the current building control system in place is robust enough and if consumers are sufficiently protected.

“Key proposals contained within the report include the following. A new Building Standards and Consumer Protection Agency along the lines of the Food Safety Authority should be established. The role of the agency would include working with local authorities to ensure uniformity in the application building regulations across the state.  The Agency should be the location for the new Construction Industry Register which is currently going through the Housing of the Oireachtas.

“The Committee is also of the view that Assigned Certifiers for housing developments should be employed directly by local authorities, either on a contract basis or as full time local authority employees.  The link between assigned certifiers and the developer must be broken.

 “The government needs to recognise and accept responsibility for the failures of oversight in the past. Consumers must be provided with greater legal protections when they purchase a home. A redress scheme to assist home owners with latent defects should be established. Mandatory latent defects insurance and a range of law reforms including transferrable warranties should also be introduced.

“This report must not lie on a shelf. It has unanimous cross party support. The next step is to engage with the Minister for Housing and his officials to see how the recommendations in the report can be progressed.” 

Note: Please see the report attached

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