Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Ceisteanna (332, 359)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

332. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will consider expanding the pyrite and mica defects scheme to counties other than Mayo and Donegal, such as County Clare, in cases in which home owners can demonstrate their homes are affected by the same defective building materials. [23259/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Cathal Crowe

Ceist:

359. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the way in which and when the financial assistance scheme for the remediation of damaged dwellings due to the use of defective concrete blocks such as those established in counties Mayo, Donegal and Limerick and the pyrite remediation scheme will be made available to homeowners in County Clare. [24116/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 332 and 359 together.

The regulations for the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme came in to operation on 31 January 2020. The Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks in Construction (Remediation) (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2020 provide for a grant scheme of financial assistance to support affected homeowners in the counties of Donegal and Mayo only, to carry out the necessary remediation works to dwellings that have been damaged due to the use of defective concrete blocks. The scheme opened for applications at the end of June 2020. I have no plans currently to extend it to other local authority areas.

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 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. Any proposal to amend the scheme is, in the first instance, a matter for the Pyrite Resolution Board. For the information of the Deputy, the scheme currently operates in the local authority areas of Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Kildare, Meath, Offaly, and South Dublin.

It is important to note that the Board is independent in the performance of its functions, and as Minister, I have no role in the operational matters relating to the implementation of the Pyrite Remediation Scheme. The Board may be contacted directly by phone at Locall 1890 252842 or by email to info@pyriteboard.ie or alternatively at oireachtasinfo@pyriteboard.ie.

Both schemes are "schemes of last resort” for affected homeowners who have no other practical option to obtain redress.