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 has been actively engaging with key stakeholders and I have had several meetings with stakeholder representative groups on this matter.
I 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. 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. The inaugural plenary working group meeting was held at the end of March and the working group met again last week.
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. Arrangements in regard to the consultation with relevant parties will be agreed by the working group in due course.