Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1416)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

1416. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the pyrite remediation scheme will be expanded to include houses damaged by pyrite in the blockwork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13669/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 provides the statutory framework for the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board, and for the making of a pyrite remediation scheme to be implemented by the Board with support from the Housing Agency. The pyrite remediation scheme is a scheme of “last resort” for affected homeowners who have no other practical option to obtain redress, and is limited in its application and scope. The full conditions for eligibility under the scheme are set out on the Pyrite Remediation Board’s website at www.pyriteboard.ie/.

The provisions of the Act apply only to dwellings affected by significant damage attributable to pyritic heave consequent on the presence of reactive pyrite in the subfloor hardcore material, and not to damage arising in any other circumstance, e.g. such as pyrite in concrete blocks. It is not intended at this time to include houses damaged by pyrite in the blockwork in the pyrite remediation scheme.

It should be noted that an Expert Panel on Concrete Blocks was established by my Department in 2016, to investigate problems that have emerged in the concrete blockwork of certain dwellings in counties Donegal and Mayo. Under Budget 2019, the Government approved in principle the development of a grant scheme of financial assistance to support affected homeowners in the two counties to carry out the necessary remediation works to dwellings that have been damaged due to defective concrete blocks. My Department is liaising with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to the development of such a scheme.