Defective block homeowners have demanded immediate action after the government approved a 100% redress scheme to repair up to 100,000 homes with building defects.
Apartments and duplexes with fire safety, structural safety and water ingress defects, constructed between 1991 and 2013 will be covered by the scheme which is expected to cost up to €2.5 billion.
The announcement has left defective block homeowners questioning, once again, why the same urgency is not in place for defective concrete block homes.
“A defect is a defect regardless of type or scale,” said a statement from Defective Concrete Homeowner Reps in Donegal, Mayo, Clare & Limerick.
They said they stand in solidarity with homeowners impacted by the apartment defects, but that Defective Concrete Homeowners are enduring “continuous discrimination” and fear they are being deprioritised.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has not yet confirmed a date when the enhanced defective concrete blocks scheme will be operational.
Homeowners say the stalling of the scheme “seems a strategic ploy by Government”.
“There is now a real concern that those who are suffering in defective concrete homes are being deprioritised, while the Department of Housing deal with additional crises Government has created from lack of regulations, failure to build housing capacity and inadequately support and plan,” they said.
“The ongoing stalling of this scheme seems a strategic ploy by Government, to leave those suffering this crisis in extended, prolonged and indefinite limbo.”
The suffering, they said, includes years of distress, delay and destruction of not only their homes, but also their personal, professional and family lives.
“In comparison to the speedy and non-prohibitive response to this Building Defects crisis, this is more than an urban and rural divide, it is about a Government prioritising large vested financial interests and property holdings first – ensuring any defects in this area are immediately fixed, without protest, without the toxic narrative of maligning those who are innocent in this scandal and without the pretence of doing something to right a wrong, while in fact doing nothing at all,” representatives said.
They have now called on the Minister for Housing to fulfil his promise to roll out the Enhanced Defective Concrete Block scheme in Quarter 1 2023 “to enable homeowners who are living in dangerous, crumbling, damp, cold and condemned homes to get on with their lives after 10 years of campaigning.”