Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Defective Building Materials
305. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the efforts being made to assist home owners with the 10% cost of making their homes safe and the relocation and with storage costs during refurbishment and reconstruction under the defective concrete blocks scheme being administered by Donegal and Mayo county councils. [16914/20]
The Defective Concrete Blocks Grants scheme is targeted at assisting a restricted group of homeowners who have no other practicable options to access redress. It is not a compensation scheme and the regulations apply only in respect of qualifying works that have not commenced prior to confirmation of grant approval being issued in respect of a dwelling by the relevant local authority.
Homeowners cannot seek the recoupment of costs relating to temporary accommodation, service connections or utilities. However, temporary removal and storage of furniture and contents will be an allowable cost.
306. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the financial supports that will be made available to Donegal County Council to assist with making the hundreds of homes in its housing stock affected by mica defective blocks safe in view of the fact that the defective concrete blocks scheme being administered by Donegal County Council does not apply to public housing [16915/20]
The Defective Concrete Blocks Grant scheme applies to private dwellings in Donegal and Mayo that have been damaged due to defective concrete blocks. In respect of local authority housing stock, Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966 provides that management and maintenance is a matter for each individual local authority. This includes maintenance programmes and carrying out of responsive repairs and pre-letting repairs.
My Department provides support to local authorities in terms of various targeted stock upgrade programmes, large-scale urban regeneration programmes, support for the return of vacant units to productive use, the Energy Retrofitting Programme and adaptations and extensions for people with disability in social housing.
In the context of defective concrete blocks within the social housing stock in Donegal, my Department is currently in communication with Donegal County Council regarding the extent of the issues and potential solutions.
I intend to meet with the Chief Executive of Donegal County Council and his officials in early August and I will discuss the matter then also.