Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Defective Building Materials

Photo of Francis Noel DuffyFrancis Noel Duffy (Dublin South West, Green Party)
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162. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will consider reviewing the MICA redress scheme to allow for penalty-free downsizing to encourage smaller, energy-efficient homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11737/23]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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Following on from the Government decision of the 30 November 2021 in respect of the enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant scheme, the Government approved the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022 on 21 June and the Bill passed through both Houses of the Oireachtas and was subsequently signed into law by the President on the 23 July, 2022.

The purpose of the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Act 2022 ('the 2022 Act'), as agreed by Government on 30 November 2021, is to implement and give legislative underpinning to a series of measures to improve and enhance the current grant scheme.

It should be noted that the scheme, as approved by the Oireachtas in the 2022 Act, is not a compensation or redress scheme, and the State has admitted no liability in this regard. Rather, it is a Remediation Grant scheme of last resort, put in place by the Government to voluntarily assist homeowners.

The grant awarded to an applicant under the Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, where the remediation option is full demolition and rebuild, will be based on the size of the original dwelling or the size of the home the grant recipient intends to build in the case of downsizing. I and the Government have an obligation to the Exchequer and participants in the scheme to ensure that the grants approved are appropriate to the size of home being rebuilt and that homeowners rebuilding a home of the same size are commensurately grant aided.

I wish to emphasise that the scheme does facilitate downsizing, with reference to Section 17(5) of the 2022 Act, and while downsizing may not be financially rewarded under the scheme, there is no penalty on homeowners who choose to downsize.


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