Thursday 8 December 2016

The Yates Anthology - House worries

Published 23/05/2015 | 02:30

Molly Sterling
Molly Sterling
Molly Sterling

Tales of disaster from house construction during the Celtic Tiger-era are not at an end. The residents of Priory Hall endured horrors of valueless homes, worthless mortgages and relocation before the Government and Dublin City Council had to bail them out in a multimillion euro disaster.

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Now, news emerges of another vista of unsafe housing. The recent fire at Millfield Manor at Newbridge, Co Kildare, ravaged rapidly through six houses, despite walls having a one-hour fire resistant specification. The entire estate of 90 houses is subject to further hazard arising from an expert safety report to the council. In the past there have been other cases, where builders have gone bust. There have also been instances elsewhere with builders where there was insufficient retained bonds to carry out remedial works.

We have seen where it may involve private housing, but also a failure of public regulation. Tragically, it may take loss of life before this looming terror forces councils and the Government into a nationwide remedial/protection scheme. The Environment Minister, Alan Kelly, should conduct a nationwide audit of houses constructed in the noughties to ascertain fire defects, as a prelude to assisting home owners.

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