Greens: Government must offer relief to owners of defective homes

8th June 2018

Thousands of homeowners are being landed with huge bills to remedy problems caused by shoddy building
The Green Party today reiterated their call for the Government to put in place measures to relieve homeowners who have been hit by latent building defects as a result of rogue and incompetent developers and a lack of regulation by the State. Homeowners who discover latent building defects, some of which don’t manifest for years, are facing bills of up to €30,000 to rectify failures.
Following last night’s Prime Time programme on RTÉ, Green Party Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin Rathdown, Catherine Martin, reiterated her call for action on the issue.
“It’s almost a year since the Green Party motion on building standards was passed by Dáil Éireann. It called on Government to compile and publish options for financing and carrying out remedial works to homes where defects have been discovered. Since then, the Oireachtas Housing Committee has researched, written, and published their Safe as Houses?  report with similar recommendations to the Green Party's motion but still the Government has done nothing to assist these homeowners.
“Families living in defective buildings are terrified. They are facing bills of up to €30,000 to rectify problems not of their making, that would never have happened if proper regulation was in place, and they are being completely ignored by the Government. They know if they go public the value of their properties will be destroyed, putting them in further financial peril. The Government knows this, and is relying on people’s fears to ignore this problem.
“Practical reliefs for people living in substandard and defective homes need to be considered in the upcoming budget. Tax relief in respect of the repair costs , together with a suspension of local property tax and VAT relief along the lines of the home renovation initiative are all practical , reasonable measures which can, if the political will exists, be implemented quickly in order to ease the burden on these homeowners.
“These people are not looking for a blank cheque. They are merely asking for practical information and assistance. They are asking not be abandoned by their country. Government cannot continue to ignore them.”