Councillors in Clare are supporting a call for a redress scheme to protect homeowners whose properties have been found to be non-complaint with building and fire regulations.
A joint motion from Johnny Flynn (FG), Gerry Flynn (Ind), Christy Curtin (Ind) and PJ Kelly (FF), called on the Ministers for Housing and Finance to act on behalf of those who bought properties in good faith on the understanding that all legal, planning and regulatory measures were adhered to.
Proposing the joint motion, Ennis councillor Johnny Flynn pointed out that Government funding is now available to avert a crisis in this sector.
Cllr Flynn said people borrowed money to provide homes for their families or to rent. In some cases, the properties, primarily in apartment complexes, have been inspected and are not in compliance with fire and building regulations.
As a result, many owners now find they are without legal redress and face inordinate costs to bring them up to the standard that should have been enforced at construction time.
“For that reason,” he said, “we are requesting that a financial redress scheme is provided by the Minister in these genuine cases.”
Cllr Gerry Flynn explained that the motion supports the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing’s call for a redress scheme.
Having witnessed this particular problem at a local level in Shannon, he said a case is now proceeding through the courts in this regard.
Requesting that the motion is circulated to other local authorities throughout the State, Cllr Flynn expressed his hope that councillors would support the redress call to help those people who now find themselves in very difficult circumstances.
Cllr Christy Curtin said the failure to achieve compliance in these cases resulted from the self-regulation of the building industry at a time when no-one took responsibility for deficiencies in design and construction.
During that particular construction boom, Cllr Curtin recalled the use of pyrite in over 12,000 homes nationwide. He also claimed that local authorities were insufficiently resourced at the time to carry out their oversight responsibilities.
As a result, he said, the Government is now duty-bound to assist these property owners who bought in good faith.