Dáil debates

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Defective Building Materials

3:55 pm

Photo of Malcolm NoonanMalcolm Noonan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

It is expected that significant changes will be made to the scheme. Progress has been made to date through the group and issues such as removing upfront costs for assessing the scheme have been agreed with homeowners, as have other issues, including rent costs for those who have had to move out of their homes. Planning permission exemptions have been agreed for like-for-like developments, as have proposals for the replacement of damaged septic tanks. In addition, a guarantee on second grant access for homes that undergo remedial work to ensure they can access supports if any future problems emerge has been agreed. This will help ensure homes can be sold in future. It is expected any new scheme will involve a commitment of more than €1.4 billion, with significant changes. In comparison with the international models, it will be one of the most comprehensive packages in the world for homeowners in similar situations.

The Government is committed, along with the Attorney General, to seeking financial contributions from liable parties. The Deputy raised this issue. I have spoken to the Minister about this and he is determined we should pursue those parties and other stakeholders to help fund any future scheme. The Government, Minister and Department are all committed to working with homeowners in order to find resolutions to the issues under review. All options remain on the table, including that of a 100% grant, and no final decision has been taken. It is the Minister's intention that the matter will be brought to the Cabinet in the coming weeks and clarity and certainty will be given to homeowners to allow them to move on with their lives.

I again reassure the Deputy that while the Minister is unable to be in the House today, it is critically important that stories, like the one the Deputy told of William and his family, are told because they deeply affect communities. He is correct about the social solidarity this issue has brought about throughout the country. There will be a large public demonstration tomorrow but I again give assurance that the Government is working tirelessly to try to resolve this issue satisfactorily to the benefit of all the families concerned.


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