Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has called on the government to introduce a latent defects redress scheme in 2021.
Speaking ahead of Housing Committee hearings on the issue tomorrow morning, Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Tomorrow morning at the Housing Committee we will hear from the Construction Defects Alliance who are campaigning for the implementation of the cross-party recommendations of the 2017 ‘Safe as Houses?’ report.
“The Minister for Housing has committed to establishing a working group on the issue, but my concern is that this group will take too long to come back with recommendations.
“It is my view that it should come back with a series of recommendations for the Minister for Housing and the Housing Committee by the first quarter of 2021.
“Homeowners have waited long enough for action to be taken.
“The Construction Defects Alliance estimates that there may be as many as 92,000 Celtic Tiger apartments affected by latent defects.
“Unfortunately, many struggling homeowners, who through no fault of their own, bought defective homes during the Celtic Tiger and don’t have the money to pay for defects.
“All five recommendations of section four of the ‘Safe as Houses?’ report must be implemented by government.
“A latent defects redress scheme must be established to help homeowners pay for remediation work on their homes.
“This scheme will also include an information and advice service, mediation services and if necessary legally binding adjudications on cases will be made.
“Where defects are uncovered, and original developer is still trading they should pay for the remediation works.
“However, in cases where the developer is no longer trading, the scheme will administer a compensation fund for homeowners that will be paid for by a levy on the construction industry to be matched by the government.
“A wholescale audit of homes built during the Celtic Tiger period should also be conducted in order to assess the scale of the problem.
“Too many homeowners have been left for too long struggling with the financial burden due to a legacy of bad building. The State cannot abdicate responsibility given the failure of the building control regulatory system under their watch.”