Minister O'Brien welcomes Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme progress
Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, has received Government approval for the General Scheme of the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill, 2022.
The Scheme has also been extended to counties Limerick and Clare.
Key features of the General Scheme include:
Provision for 100% grants subject to an overall maximum grant of €420,000 per dwelling.
Grant rates in keeping with the construction cost report prepared by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.
A Government guarantee in regard to remediation works other than full demolition and rebuild (Options 2-5) through eligibility for a second grant if required for a period of 40 years.
A revised application process which removes the financial barrier to scheme entry which will only require the homeowner to submit an initial ‘Building Condition Assessment’ at minimal cost recoupable on entry to the Scheme.
The introduction of an independent appeals process for applicants with all key decisions under the scheme appealable by homeowners.
Alternative accommodation and storage costs and immediate repair works to a maximum value of €25,000 within the overall grant cap.
The Housing Agency playing a key role under the enhanced scheme by taking on the financial cost of testing and assessing homes and determining on behalf of the local authorities the appropriate remediation option and grant rate for each dwelling.
The extension of the enhanced scheme beyond the current scope of Principle Private Residences only, to also cover rented dwellings registered with the RTB on or before the 1 November 2021.
Exempt development status under planning legislation for remediation works carried out under the defective concrete blocks grant scheme on a like for like basis.
Minister O’Brien acknowledged the affected homeowners and thanked them for their involvement in the process over the last twelve months in particular saying: “Since establishing the working group in June 2021, affected homeowners have put a significant amount of time and effort into working with my Department through the homeowner liaison officer John O’Connor, on the development of the enhanced scheme.
"I am satisfied that the enhanced scheme will represent a significant step forward in having a fit for purpose grant scheme which will help homeowners rebuild their homes and their lives.”
“I have consistently said the State has a moral obligation to assist affected homeowners and that is what we are doing through this enhanced scheme,” he concluded.
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