January 4, 2024
Establishment of Sub-Group involving homeowners and stakeholders must deliver results for homeowners affected by defective blocks – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has responded to the Department of Housing’s establishment of a new sub-group to examine issues relating to the mortgageability of homes remediated under the defective concrete blocks scheme.

The Donegal TD said this new sub-group must include homeowners and key stakeholders on a permanent and inclusive basis, and lead to the speedy and sustainable resolutions of outstanding problems that surround the scheme.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Homeowners have been badly let down by the defective concrete blocks redress scheme, but are trying to engage with the scheme as it exists in order to rebuild their homes and lives.

“The key question of the mortgageability of these homes following remediation – including the ability to sell the properties in the future – remains a key issue.

“Despite responses to me by the Minister for Housing that these properties would be fully mortgageable once a home has been certified as remediated, it is clear that many engineers cannot guarantee certification of properties for a number of options under the scheme.

“Last year I asked the Minister for State if his department or the Minister had sought clarification from the engineering sector on this issue.

“I also raised the significant funding shortfalls homeowners face to commence works due to flawed design of this scheme.

“I asked the Minister to commit to establishing an oversight committee that would involve key stakeholders – homeowners, the banking industry, the insurance sector, and engineers – to resolve outstanding issues surrounding the scheme.

“It was totally unacceptable that the Minister had not established this committee, given the serious issues that remain outstanding.

“The management of this scheme has been wholly inadequate.

“I welcome news that the Department will now establish a sub-group, under its already existing Implementation Steering Group, to examine issues relating to the mortgageability of homes remediated under the defective concrete blocks scheme.

“This new sub-group must be formed on a permanent and inclusive basis, involving homeowners and all key stakeholders, from the engineering, banking, construction and insurance sectors, to ensure speedy and sustainable resolution to the problems that beset the scheme and affected homeowners.”

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