18th December 2018 | Environment, Housing, Press Releases

Greens reiterate call for reliefs for homeowners of legacy defects


TD for Dublin Rathdown and Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin today reiterated her call on Government to act to relieve pressure on homeowners of defective buildings. This follows a dignified protest by affected homeowners from Dublin Rathdown outside Leinster House last week and the news today of homeowners facing substantial bills to remedy fire safety defects in Dublin 8.

Deputy Martin said: “Families living in defective buildings are terrified. They are facing bills of up to €30,000 to rectify problems not of their making, that would never have happened if proper regulation was in place, and they are being completely ignored by the Government.

This is not right and it is not just. I raised this issue again with the Taoiseach last week but he and members of the Government, continue to dismiss this as being entirely a matter between private parties to a private contract. But this is a public health issue, brought about by an ineffective building control regime exploited by cowboy builders through the boom. Will it take a tragedy to occur, or lives to be lost, before the Government takes action here?

Practical reliefs, like tax relief, which will put minimal cost to the exchequer would be warmly welcomed by affected homeowners in helping to ease the burden of making their homes safe – particularly as the Government already provides similar tax reliefs to developers.”

Cllr Patrick Costello and Green Party representative for Dublin South Central said: “Residents have been left to carry the can for dodgy building practices. As Christmas approaches, many families are facing life-changing bills through no fault of their own. These costs are on top of any mortgage payments they have to meet.

Michael Pidgeon, Green Party representative for the South West Inner City, which includes Dublin 8, said: “The government always appears keen to support the construction industry – now it’s time to help these residents, by offering practical support and information. 

Ministerial inaction won’t make this problem go away. There are clear measures the government can take, as set out in the Green Party’s successful motion on building standards and homeowner protection, and in the Oireachtas Housing Committee’s ‘Safe as Houses? report.