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 in line with the commitment in the Programme for Government.
I recently appointed Mr. Seamus Neely, former Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, to the position of Chair to the independent working group.
In addition, I brought a Memorandum for the Information of the Government to Cabinet recently to note the establishment of a working group with the appropriate expertise to examine the issue of defective housing. It is intended to hold the inaugural plenary working group meeting shortly.
In regard to the working group’s deliberations, the group will seek to engage with a range of interested parties, including homeowners, public representatives, local authorities, product manufacturers, building professionals and industry stakeholders, among others.
In addition, 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 the National Building Control Office; and
- The ongoing development of new legislation through the Building Control (Construction Industry Register Ireland) Bill.