The Government agreed an enhanced €2.2bn Defective Concrete Block scheme on 30 November 2021. The comprehensive changes include:
- The current 90% maximum grant will be increased to a 100% grant for all remediation options 1-5
- The maximum grant cap for option 1 (demolition and rebuild) will be increased to €420,000 from €247,500
- The grant calculation methodology will be based on the cost per square foot (psf) of rebuilding the existing home, with costings to be set by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in consultation with the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). An indicative rate of €145 per square foot is set for the first 1,000 sq foot based on SCSI methodology with a sliding scale thereafter.
- A revised application process will be introduced which will only require the homeowner to submit an initial ‘Building Condition Assessment’ at minimal cost recoupable on entry to the Scheme. The Housing Agency will take over testing, sampling and categorisation of remedial works.
- Alternative accommodation and storage costs are to be included, subject to a maximum of €20,000
- In relation to works carried out under remediation options 2-5, a second grant option, will be available for such a home in the future if blockwork which was not removed as part of the initial remediation work subsequently proves defective in accordance with the IS:465 standard
- A new independent appeals process will be introduced
- The Scheme will be extended beyond the current scope of Principal Private Residences only, to also cover Residential Tenancies Board registered rental properties, subject to the introduction of a clawback mechanism upon re-sale within a set time period depending on the remediation option used. Opportunities for the State to acquire such rental properties for social housing purposes will also be examined.
The priority must be to ensure that homes being occupied as principal private residences are remediated and Government has therefore prioritised owner occupied principal private residences and tenanted rental properties which were RTB registered as at 1 November 2021.
There are no plans to extend eligibility for this scheme beyond those homes identified in the Government decision of 30 November, 2021.