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1st April 2019 | Housing

Greens call for independent building regulator

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Green Party Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin Rathdown Catherine Martin TD today said: “A number of homeowners in Blanchardstown will have to pay up to €50,000 each to make their homes safe – this is an appalling situation to be in, where the emotional stress of living in homes that are not safe is compounded by an enormous financial stress that many people just can’t pay.

“Fire safety should not be something which families should only have if they can pay for it. This is a public safety issue, and the Government needs to identify the developments in the country which have dangerous or potentially dangerous defects and create options for state assistance in their remediation. They cannot continue to keep their head in the sand – it should not have to take a tragedy for Government to act.

“Meanwhile, experts are continuing to say that the 2014 (BCAR) Regulations will not adequately prevent issues like this occurring in the future. There are so few building control officers in local authorities throughout the country to carry out real, independent, state-led inspections, that we can’t be sure that the regulations are working. We need an independent building regulator, like our food regulator, which has specialised statutory powers to name and shame any builders who put people’s health and safety at serious risk and be empowered to put things right. The Green Party have consistently called for this, and our proposal has received cross-party support in the Dáil.”

Green Party Councillor for Blanchardstown Roderic O’Gorman said: “The families in Verdemont have already had to endure two horrific fires, one of which claimed two lives – now, instead of answers they are being faced with huge bills which many simply can’t pay.

“Government has consistently abandoned these families, and those in other defective developments across the country – families whose homes are defective because of the reckless actions of cowboy builders. Government’s continued lack of interest in investigating or acting on this issue is a neglect of its role in assuring safety in Irish housing. Our housing is a public safety issue, but they are continuing to treat it as if they have should have nothing to do with it.”