Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Questions (181)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

181. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if there are supports for retirees in receipt of the State pension whose homes may be affected by pyrite but do not have the means to pay to have their home tested for pyrite; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49494/21]

View answer

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 provisions of the Act apply only to dwellings affected by significant damage attributable to pyritic heave consequent on the presence of reactive pyrite in the subfloor hardcore material and not to damage arising in any other circumstance, e.g. such as pyrite in concrete blocks.

The pyrite remediation scheme is a scheme of “last resort” for affected homeowners who have no other practical option to obtain redress 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 scheme is applicable to dwellings which are subject to significant damage attributable to pyritic heave, established in accordance with I.S. 398-1:2017 - Reactive pyrite in sub-floor hardcore material – Part 1: Testing and categorisation protocol. In this regard, it is a condition of eligibility under the scheme that an application to the Board must be accompanied by a Building Condition Assessment with a Damage Condition Rating of 2. Dwellings which do not have a Damage Condition Rating of 2 are not eligible to apply under the scheme. This ensures that, having regard to the available resources, the focus of the scheme is on dwellings which are most severely damaged by pyritic heave.

Under the scheme, the homeowner is liable for the cost of the Building Condition Assessment. The payment of costs will normally occur when the remediation works are completed and certified. However, earlier payment of vouched costs, in part or in whole may be approved by the Housing Agency where it is demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Agency, that payment of these costs on completion of the works would cause financial hardship.