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Housing Issues

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 15 December 2020

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Questions (285)

Richard Bruton

Question:

285. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his Department has considered the report of the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government on building defects in houses; and if he has identified the recommendations that his Department plans to implement during this term of Dáil Éireann. [43254/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Programme for Government sets out a number of commitments in respect of the important policy area of building defects and provides for an examination of defective housing, having regard to the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing report, "Safe as Houses".

In this regard, my Department is actively engaging with key stakeholders and I have had several meetings with stakeholder representative groups on this matter over recent months. My Department is currently working to establish the structures to examine the issue of defective housing, this will include apartment buildings, in line with the commitment in the programme for government.

In addition, I believe that the ongoing building control reform agenda, with its many initiatives, already provides a comprehensive roadmap for embedding a culture of real compliance within the construction industry. The reform agenda includes:

- Amendments made to the Building Control Regulations;

- Establishment of a shared services National Building Control Management Project; and

- The ongoing development of new legislation through the Building Control (Construction Industry Register Ireland) Bill.

I acknowledge the very stressful circumstances which the owners and residents of buildings face when defects occur in their homes, however, in general, building defects are matters for resolution between the contracting parties involved, the homeowner, the builder, the developer and/or their respective insurers, structural guarantee or warranty scheme.

Under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014 primary responsibility for compliance of works with the requirements of the Building Regulations, rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings.

Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities which have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under statute.

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