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Building Regulations

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 March 2021

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Questions (714, 723)

Duncan Smith


714. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the proposed timeline for the construction defects working group; if funding will be made available for low-cost loans for construction defects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15498/21]

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Eoin Ó Broin


723. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the status of the working group on latent defects; the membership of the group; the terms of reference of same; the number of meetings held to date; if he expects the group to conclude its work by June 2021; and if he expects its recommendations to inform measures to support homeowners living with latent defects in budget 2022. [15668/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 714 and 723 together.

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 defects in 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 finalise the structures to examine the issue of defects in 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. The Chair will oversee the effective implementation of the group’s terms of reference which are currently being finalised.

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 defects in housing. The membership of the working group includes representatives, with relevant expertise and experience, from Engineers Ireland, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland, the Public Sector, the Local Authority Sector, the Legal Sector, the Department of Finance, Construction Defects Alliance and Apartment Owners Network. It is intended to hold the inaugural plenary working group meeting later this month.

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 to examine the issue of defects in housing and report to me on the matter.