Source: Sinn Féin
22 October, 2020 – by Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD’s bill that provides for the establishment of a latent defects redress scheme to assist homeowners has passed first stage in the Dáil this afternoon.
The Latent Defects Bill 2020 creates a redress scheme which provides a resolution to homeowners who bought their homes in good faith and who should not be held liable for the costs of remediation caused by the incompetence and/or negligence developers.
Teachta Ó Broin said: “The Latent Defects Redress Bill 2020 that I have introduced today establishes a latent defects redress scheme to assist homeowners in remedying issues, such as fire safety and other structural defects that have been uncovered in their homes.
“While I welcome the Programme for Government commitment to look at this issue and the Minister for Housing’s establishment of a working group, examining access to low cost financing should not be only solution on the table.
“Homeowners who bought their homes in good faith should have more options available to them other than accessing more loans.
“Furthermore, the timeline for the working group to come back with recommendations is too long. We would have liked to see it report back in three months.
“We also would have liked to have seen an initial provision of funding for a redress scheme in Budget 2021. In our alternative budget, we allocated initial funding of €7.5m to be matched euro for euro by the industry.
“The Sinn Féin bill today lays out a number of solutions based on the Safe as Houses report, which I authored, and is supported by the Housing Committee.
“Our latent defect redress scheme would include an information and advice service for homeowners. A mediation service will be offered to disputing parties to see if a resolution can be found between the developer/builder and the homeowner. If mediation is not an option, the scheme will issue legally binding adjudications on cases
“The scheme also gives the power to the Minister for Housing to administer a compensation fund for homeowners that will be paid for by a levy on the construction industry and will be matched on a euro-for-euro basis by the Exchequer.
“I hope this piece of legislation will have cross-party support.”