Pyrite remediation scheme
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the amount allocated to the pyrite remediation scheme and expended, respectively in each of the years 2013 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the amount allocated to the pyrite remediation scheme for 2019; the amount spent to date; the projected underspend or overspend at year end; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 provides the statutory framework for the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board and for the making of a pyrite remediation scheme to be implemented by the Board with support from the Housing Agency. The pyrite remediation scheme was first adopted in February 2014.
The provisions of the Act apply only to dwellings affected by significant damage attributable to pyritic heave consequent on the presence of reactive pyrite in the subfloor hardcore material and not to damage arising in any other circumstance, e.g. such as pyrite in concrete blocks.
The pyrite remediation scheme is a scheme of “last resort” for affected homeowners who have no other practical option to obtain redress and is limited in its application and scope. The full conditions for eligibility under the scheme are set out in the scheme which is available on the Board’s website, www.pyriteboard.ie.
The scheme is applicable to dwellings which are subject to significant damage attributable to pyritic heave, established in accordance with I.S. 398-1:2017 - Reactive pyrite in sub-floor hardcore material – Part 1: Testing and categorisation protocol. In this regard, it is a condition of eligibility under the scheme that an application to the Board must be accompanied by a Building Condition Assessment with a Damage Condition Rating of 2. Dwellings which do not have a Damage Condition Rating of 2 are not eligible to apply under the scheme. This ensures that, having regard to the available resources, the focus of the scheme is on dwellings which are most severely damaged by pyritic heave.
Some €2.2 million was provided to the Housing Agency in 2014 to meet expenditure incurred under the scheme in respect of design work, contractors, expenses to homeowners, operational costs, and the administrative costs to the Housing Agency. The remediation of 5 dwellings was completed in the final quarter of that year.
An additional sum of €10 million was made available in Budget 2015 to fund the operation of the scheme in 2015, when a further 148 dwellings had remedial works completed under the scheme.
€26.6 million was provided for the scheme in 2016. Some 400 dwellings were remediated under the scheme in 2016 giving an aggregate total of 553 dwellings completed since the scheme was first introduced.
In 2017, some €25 million was provided, facilitating the remediation of some 400 additional dwellings, giving an aggregate total of 945 dwellings completed from when the scheme was first introduced up to the end of 2017.
A sum of €30 million was announced under Budget 2018 to fund the operation of the pyrite remediation scheme in 2018. This allocation facilitated the remediation of some 430 additional dwellings in 2018 giving an aggregate total of 1,378 dwellings completed since the scheme was first introduced in February 2014. The total allocation was expended in each of the years 2014 to 2018.
The latest figures available indicate that 2,473 applications have been received under the pyrite remediation scheme. Of these, 2,003 dwellings have been included in the scheme and the applicants notified accordingly. A further 87 applications have been validated and referred to the Housing Agency for the Assessment and Verification Process, while another 219 applications are at the initial Application and Validation Process. 164 applications under the scheme were not successful.
Of the 2,003 dwellings that have been included in the pyrite remediation scheme:
55 are at remedial works planning stage,
7 are at tender / tender analysis,
247 are under remediation, and
1,694 are complete.
A sum of €32 million is available to fund the operation of the pyrite remediation scheme this year, of which €22 million has been drawn down by the Housing Agency to date. I understand that the Housing Agency estimate that a minimum of €30 million will be drawn down by the end of 2019. This will facilitate the remediation of some 460 additional dwellings. This will bring to approximately €126m the total funding provided under the scheme since 2014.
Ultimately, the Pyrite Resolution Board, together with the Housing Agency, will arrange for all eligible dwellings to be remediated to a high standard and at no additional cost to the affected homeowners. Remediation works will continue to be carried out at the earliest possible opportunity having regard to the existing demands of the scheme and the optimum use of available resources.
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