Monday 14 October 2019

Thousands of homeowners affected by pyrite unaware of resolution scheme - Dail committee hears

Pyrite cracks in a home
Pyrite cracks in a home

Sam Griffin

THE 600 homes affected by pyrite that have applied to a resolution scheme is just “a drop in the ocean” and there are thousands more affected families who do not know about the scheme, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

The Pyrite Resolution Board was set up in February last year to run the pyrite mediation scheme – a €10m State funded programme which carries out repair work on home damaged by the mineral.

The board today updated the Oireachtas Environment committee on how the scheme is progressing and said it had received some 632 applications by the end of last month.

Of these, 485 applications have been validated and 328 included in the redress scheme.

However work has only been completed on five dwellings since last February with another 73 at tendering stage.

Read more here: South Dublin pyrite homes eligible for repairs plan 

Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger said she was aware of far more houses affected by pyrite than the 630 homes that have applied and said many people were unaware of the problem, while others living in council-owned homes could not access remediation independently.

“Would you recognise that (632 applications) has to be an absolute drop in the ocean of the pyrite problem in this country because there have been various estimates of anything between 10,000 and 20,000 and I don’t think they’re over estimates,” she said.

She said she has held “countless meetings” with constituents about the problem. She added some residents were not aware that their homes were affected by pyrite and she has pointed out the problem while canvassing.

The board’s chairman John O’Connor said the authority was receiving a “trickle” of around three applications a week now and said while the board was surprised by the low number of applications, he said the board could only deal with homes that had applied to the scheme.

He said there was no deadline on when homes needed to apply to the scheme and added the scheme was open to housing agencies to contact the board on behalf of such affected homes.

Read more here: South Dublin pyrite homes eligible for repairs plan 

Earlier this month, Junior Minister Paudie Coffey announced homes around 20 homes in Dun Laoghaire and South Dublin would be added to the scheme after problems associated with pyrite were discovered.

The scheme had been restricted to homes in Dublin City, Fingal, Co Kildare, Meath and Offaly.

The board said “the level of cooperation” of builders and developers of affected homes “varied a lot”.

“Some of them are good, more of them not so good,” Mr O’Connor said.

When pressed further, the board revealed there is “one significant case” where a builder “was being totally resistant”.

“There are four significant ones we’re dealing with positively, there’s another very significant one that isn’t dealing,” the board said.

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