Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (677)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

677. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to remediation packages and compensation available for homeowners that recently purchased properties that have been affected by pyrite and that have been refused access to the remediation scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22008/19]

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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” and is limited in its application and scope.  The full conditions for eligibility under the scheme are set out in the scheme which is available on the Board’s website, www.pyriteboard.ie.

The Act also sets out the broad parameters which the Board must have regard to when establishing the eligibility criteria for the pyrite remediation scheme.

The restriction in Section 15(3) of the Act preventing applications being made under the scheme by a person who purchases a dwelling on or after 12 December 2013 (the publication date of the Bill) applies where that person knew or ought to have known that the dwelling was constructed using hardcore containing reactive pyrite.  It is my Department’s view that Section 15(3) does not represent a blanket exclusion preventing applications being made under the scheme by a person who purchases a dwelling on or after 12 December 2013. It is, however, a matter for the Board to determine, based on facts and evidence in each individual case, whether an applicant is or is not entitled to apply for inclusion into the Pyrite Remediation Scheme.

The Board has sought and received legal advice on the interpretation of Section 15, including the facts and evidence it should seek when assessing cases where a dwelling was purchased on or after 12 December 2013 and I am advised that the Board assesses each individual application as it is received, and has regard to all the facts when considering Section 15 of the Act.   

The latest figures available indicate that a total of 2,351 applications have been received under the pyrite remediation scheme. Of these, 1,905 dwellings have been included in the scheme, with the applicants notified accordingly, and 1,542 dwellings have been remediated.  A sum of €32 million is available to fund the operation of the pyrite remediation scheme this year.  This will facilitate the remediation of some 460 additional dwellings and is a clear signal of the continuing importance attached by Government to addressing the issue of significant pyritic damage in private dwellings. This will bring to approximately €126m the total funding provided under the scheme since 2014.