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Government must introduce a latent defects redress scheme - Eoin Ó Broin TD

4 March, 2019 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the government to urgently introduce a latent defects redress scheme to help those living in badly built properties, bought during the Celtic Tiger.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“A report in the Irish Times today indicates that residents and owners in boom time apartment developments across the State are facing building repair costs and possible eviction due to defects uncovered.

“Some of the defects include fire safety issues, a rotting roof and defective balconies.

“These people bought or rent their homes in good faith and the government has all but ignored any calls to assist them.

“The Oireachtas Housing Committee published a report in January 2018 that offered solutions for latent defects. The Safe as House report, which I authored, received cross party support.

“This report made 26 recommendations in total and to tackle the issue of latent defects, our report suggested that a redress scheme to assist home owners with latent defects should be established.

“This redress scheme would be funded via an industry levy matched by government funding and low-cost loans to help homeowners pay for remedial works.

“There is also a need for a non-judicial resolution process for home owners to be established which in the first instance would seek to have the developer responsible cover the costs of remediation”

“The redress scheme should also be accompanied by a programme of fire risk assessments based on a methodology designed to assess those boom time developments deemed potentially at risk of containing latent defects.

“In our Alternative Budget for 2019, Sinn Féin included a proposal for an initial €7.5m fund for remedial works for homeowners who purchased properties prior to 2014 with serious structural latent defects.

"This fund would be available in cases where the developer is no longer trading and there is no way to cover costs. This is would be matched by €7.5m from industry.

“The cross party recommendations in the Safe as Houses report offer real solutions for homeowners and tenants living in defective properties.

“The Minister for Housing needs to recognise that this is a serious issue and the properties referenced in the Irish Times today may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the scale of this problem.”

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