NOT OUR FAULT reps meet with Minister for Housing re 100pc redress scheme

No end in sight for distraught home owners of defective homes

by Rose Barrett
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With over 100,000 apartments and duplexes with fire defects affected throughout the country, Minister Darragh O”Brien TD announced before Christmas that a 100 per cent redress scheme would be provided, with emergency funding and interim measures in place until the scheme is up and running.

On Wedneday last, Sam and Odette Doran from NOT OUR FAULT campaign had an in-person meeting with Minister O’Brien in his office at Leinster House. The couple who reside at Park West are one of many homeowners who were advised that it could cost up to €68, 000+ to correct the faults and fire proof their home built and signed off during the self-certification period of construction.

The couple outlined the many issues that developments were experiencing not just fire defects ranging from trust in OMCs to the not-fit-for purpose Mud Act, mental health impact and the knock-on effects of the fire defects in blocks, along with levies imposed, insurance issues, balconies removed, etc.

The couple specifically tackled the topic of emergency funding and the Minister said there would be emergency funds available. They then asked where can they obtain these emergency funds. Re their development at Park West, the insurance company is withdrawing cover at the end of the month due to lack of progress carrying out remediation works in the building with an estimated cost of €15.9m required to address the fault.

“We really do not have any faith in this government scheme commencing in a timely fashion. The Minister was surprised to hear this, and said if we commenced the works ourselves then all certified works will be reimbursed to us.

“But we explained that management companies like ours cannot get finance as the common areas in the buildings don’t belong to the owners as they are on a long-term lease. He then again informed us that yes there are funds there but the mechanism is not in place yet to disperse the funds to the OMCs.

“Minister O’Brien said he didn’t want works that were already underway or works that were about to commence to be stalled or to have to wait on the scheme to kick in. We enquired about the checks and balances that they said would be in place he said yes works been undertaken would be covered and then it came back to certified works again.

“We asked him for a list of certified contractors and fire engineering companies that were government approved to carry out these works. The Minister said he was working on setting up a committee that would clarify what’s covered and what’s not along with a website to get more information but that it was still a couple of months away.

“So in the meantime we are in a very disappointing and dangerous situation where there is no emergency funds available to us now, nor interim measures in place as yet!

“The government would pay for fire wardens but our insurance company said it would make no difference to our situation in Park West. We still can’t get insurance! So, we are still in limbo still living in dangerous buildings, unable to move forward or get our get our lives back as the minister said he would.”

She concluded: “LET DOWN BY OUR GOVERNMENT AGAIN!. This is not a new problem, it was raised last year when we were protesting about 100 per cent redress. This has been ongoing for years, they have learnt nothing since Priory Hall.

“Unfortunately, it took a tragedy in Priory Hall before the government stepped in and did something. Are they waiting for another tragedy to occur before they take their out of the sand.

“As this situation is not our fault and the people that bought these duplexes and apartments, we all did everything right in buying these defective properties unknown to us all. It was the governments’ fault allowing self-certification at the time that allowed builders to cut corners and leave us in defective homes.

“The Minister’s statement in December re emergency funding and interim measures being available was totally misleading as it is months away yet, and we are still in limbo!” 

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