September 8, 2023
Minister Darragh O’Brien must release emergency funding for building defects – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to ‘release funding for emergency works for those living in Celtic Tiger era defective homes.’

The call comes amid growing frustration among homeowners of defective buildings that funding for emergency interim works promised since the start of 2023 has not yet materialised.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Last year, Darragh O’Brien secured Cabinet approval to introduce a redress scheme for people living in homes with Celtic Tiger era fire safety and other structural defects. As the redress scheme would take some time to get up and running due to the need for legislation, the Minister also promised funding for emergency interim works such as fire safety repairs and the provision of sprinkler systems and in some cases fire wardens.

“Minister O’Brien told affected homeowners at the start of 2023 that this was imminent. However, at a recent meeting with affected homeowners Minister O’Brien was not able to give a firm date for when applications for this funding would open or when the funding itself could be drawn down.

“There are people today living in buildings that are simply not safe. Insurance cover is being withdrawn from some defective developments because of a lack of progress on emergency works.

“Minister O’Brien must make this funding available immediately. Most of the 2023 Departmental budget line for defective building and defective block remediation remains unspent. The Minister should open applications for emergency repair works and interim measures as requested by the Construction Defects Alliance and the 100% Not Our Fault campaign. Any further delay is putting people’s lives at risk.

“Minister O’Brien must also accelerate the introduction of a comprehensive redress scheme for defective buildings. While legislation is required there is no reason that the Pyrite Resolution Board’s remit could not be expanded on a non-statutory footing as an interim measure to enable them to undertake preparatory work for the redress scheme in parallel with the development of the legislation.”

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