I propose to take Questions Nos. 337, 338 and 343 together.
I brought a Memorandum to Government on an enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme on 30 November 2021 and it included an unprecedented suite of improvements to the current scheme. Government approved the enhanced scheme which it is estimated will cost approximately €2.2Bn. Full details in relation to the changes announced are available at the following link;
In the Government decision of 30 November 2021 it was directed that a review of the NSAI standard IS:465 would take place. Officials from my Department have since met with NSAI and other relevant stakeholders and I can confirm that a review of the standard will be carried out. Meetings are ongoing between the relevant stakeholders to consider and finalise the scope of the review required, what further research is necessary and the timescale for completion of the review.
In relation to decisions on the remediation option approved for each individual home, my Department does not have any role is the decision making process. It is a matter for the relevant local authority to approve the remediation option in accordance with the available scientific and engineering evidence provided within the IS:465 standard and the scope of the scheme.
Applications can continue to be made to the relevant local authorities and should be processsed under the current Defective Concrete Block grant scheme, which is underpinned by IS:465 and the Dwellings Damaged by the Use Of Defective Concrete Blocks in Construction (Remediation) (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2020, until the measures announced as a result of the Government decision on 30 November are legislated for. Appropriate transitional provisions will be included in the new legislation to provide a mechanism to move applications that are received in the meantime to the revised scheme once it commences.