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5th March 2019 | Housing, Press Releases

Mixed messages from Government unhelpful to homeowners facing huge bills from latent defects: Greens

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Following reports that apartment owners have discovered they cannot access the Government’s new Home Building Finance Ireland fund, Green Party TD for Dublin Rathdown Catherine Martin said:

“Government needs to clarify as a matter of urgency whether or not homeowners can access the new Home Building Finance Ireland fund for the remediation of latent property defects. It appears that a message was conveyed by senior levels in Government to apartment owners with fire safety defects that they could use this route to apply for a loan. Seemingly now there are misgivings about giving this assistance to these apartment owners.

“It is simply unacceptable that Government gave these homeowners a false sense of hope that they might finally get some recognition of their need for support, and that they would not be abandoned by Government especially since these apartments were built under the State’s watch with little or no regulation.

“The mixed messages coming from Government on possible supports or assistance are only making an already difficult situation unbearable. Minister Eoghan Murphy must bring clarity to this issue immediately but I would also urge him to reconsider the possibility of up to 8% interest rate on any such loan. Rather, the Government should investigate the feasibility of interest free loans from the State for affected homeowners.

“It is quite incredible that they don’t even have an option to write off the cost of remedial works against their tax bills.

“These homeowners are not looking for a handout. They are asking for practical, accurate information and assistance. Government cannot continue to ignore them. Will it take a tragedy to occur, or lives to be lost, before the Government takes action here?”