Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (189)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

189. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the way funding will be allocated from the €10 million proposed to deal with pyrite; the number of houses this fund will repair; the way he plans to deal with repair works which will not be covered by this fund; and his views on whether the construction and quarry industry should pay something towards these works. [45441/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Initially, €10 million is being made available to my Department. Additional funding will be provided over the next two years, in the context of the further capital stimulus programme to be announced in early 2014, to deal with all dwellings deemed by the Pyrite Resolution Board to be in need of remediation.

The Pyrite Resolution Board (PRB), which I established earlier this year on an administrative basis and which will be put on a statutory footing when the necessary legislation is enacted, will oversee the implementation of the pyrite remediation scheme. The Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency will provide support to the Board in the delivery of the scheme. In so far as it is possible the Board will attempt to group affected dwellings together for the purposes of remediation programmes in order to achieve cost efficiencies through economies of scale. The Board's website (www.pyriteboard.ie ) provides details of the proposed scheme, including eligibility criteria.

The initial phase of the remediation programme will deal with approximately 1,000 dwellings which, it is estimated, are in need of repair over a two year period. The post-2015 funding position will be dealt with having regard to the position at that time. While it is not possible, at this time, to estimate the number of dwellings that may require remediation post-2015, the considered view is that the numbers will not be as large as previously thought. There are a number of positive indicators that support this view including the number of persons who have registered an interest with the PRB to receive an application form for the proposed scheme which now stands at 700 approximately.

I have always made it clear that I believed that the parties identified in the pyrite report as having a responsibility to provide solutions for affected homeowners should contribute to the resolution of the pyrite problem. Over the past eighteen months or so, I have tried to bring about a resolution of the problem involving those parties; unfortunately, this did not prove possible. However, the PRB will continue to engage with those parties to see what positive contribution they can make to the implementation of the remediation process.