Thursday, 20 February 2014

Questions Remain in Relation to the Funding of the Pyrite RemediationScheme

Fianna Fáil Rep. for Cabra-Finglas David Costello has guardedly welcomed the publication of the "Pyrite Remediation Scheme" by the Pyrite Resolution Board. More than 10,000 homes are affected by pyrite.

In October 2013, the Government approved initial funding of €10 million for the roll-out of a pyrite remediation scheme with further funding to be provided in the context of the stimulus package to be announced later this year. The initial phase of the scheme will deal with 1000 dwellings.

The Pyrite Remediation Scheme (the Scheme) may apply to the following classes of dwellings, which are used or suitable for use by a person as a place to reside:
(a) houses;
(b) apartments;
(c) duplexes;
(d) maisonettes.

The only current solution for homes affected by pyrite is removal of the material, and replacement. The typical cost for an average house is around €45,000.
Initially the government had planned to levy the insurance and quarrying industries for the cost of repairs. However last year they said, following legal advice, the levy could not be applied and the State would have to pay the Bill.

Costello said:  
"I'm not sure if the scheme goes far enough to address the problem of pyrite in our communities. It will only cover the worst of the worst cases, approximately 1000 dwellings. that's less than 10% of homes affected by pyrite. Based on an average cost of repair of €45,000, the initial 1,000 dwellings will cost €45m." 

"I would like to know where is the remainder of the funding is going to come from and when will it be made available. Residents in these properties have been waiting long enough and deserve to be told when and where this funding will come from."

Last year it was made clear by Dublin City Council that properties in it portfolio will not be covered by this scheme. In November 2013 the manager of Dublin City Council when asked questions in relation to pyrite damaged houses owned by Dublin City Council said:

"The fund of €10 million that has been put in place by the government is for the remediation of private houses affected by pyrite. A local authority cannot drawdown from the fund to remediate social houses affected by pyrite. 23 Dublin City Council owned houses are affected by pyrite and it is estimated that it will cost €1,150,000 to remedy them. Dublin City Council is pursuing various disputes with contractors for defects under the building contracts." 

Costello said: " Dublin City Council are to the pin of their collar as a result of reduced funding from central government and the fact that property tax has not been passed on to local government to provide local services."

"Anyone who feel that they are entitled to benefit from this scheme should register with the Pyrite Resolution board."

The full conditions of eligibility of the scheme are set out in the Pyrite Remediation Scheme which is available on the PRB’s website - www.pyriteboard.ie

An information helpline has been established at 1890 800 800, while people can email queries to pyriteinformation@environ.ie.

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