The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) has welcomed Government’s decision today to approve the drafting of legislation to support a remediation scheme of apartments and duplexes with fire safety, structural safety and water ingress defects, constructed between 1991 and 2013. Speaking on foot of today’s announcement, ICSH CEO, Donal McManus, said: “As the national social housing federation representing more than 250 approved housing bodies (AHBs) across Ireland, we welcome today’s announcement of a scheme that will provide redress for housing construction defects. These measures will offer reassurance to a number of our member organisations that own and manage social homes requiring remediation works to ensure safety for tenants, and to ensure the long-term sustainability of these properties. A number of our member non-profit AHBs have spent considerable sums to date on remedial construction works to make these defective homes safe, and it is essential that provision is made for these costs to be covered in the legislation and regulations”.
The Minister for Housing’s building defects scheme proposal will fund owner management companies (OMCs) to carry out remediation works (with specific limitations or exemptions on certain commercial owners), and will allow remediation costs already incurred or levied to be covered under the legacy defects scheme. The proposal envisages that the Housing Agency will administer the scheme, which will fund OMCs to carry out these works. In advance of the full scheme roll-out, Government has also decided that remediation works related to fire safety defects, entered into or commenced from today, will form part of the remediation scheme.
“Given the scale of the work ahead, the ICSH agrees with the Construction Defects Alliance (CDA) call for an implementation group, to include AHBs, to oversee the development and rollout of the scheme. Government’s commitment to correct widescale building defects is an important response and correction to what amounts to a blighted history for some of our recently constructed housing stock. The inadequate oversight of much our boom-era construction must not be repeated. Housing is vital social infrastructure that requires a robust building control system and regulatory oversight”, Mr. McManus added