Fine Gael Senator Regina Doherty has called for the expansion of supports for homeowners whose property has been affected by ‘pyritic heave’.
Leader of the Seanad, Senator Doherty said: “Both the Pyrite Remediation Scheme and the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme should be opened up to all who need them, based solely on the damage attributable to pyrite, and not location, build or purchase date.”
“It is unfair that not only can two houses affected be treated differently because of what county they are in, they can also be treated differently within individual towns, based on how old the house is.”
Senator Doherty continued: “The Pyrite Remediation Scheme is limited to Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Offaly and recently extended to Limerick, and the Defective Concrete Block Scheme is limited to Mayo and Donegal. This leaves a whole host of areas unsupported.
“Both schemes have been hugely successful and welcome for homeowners that meet the eligibility requirements.
“The latest figures available indicate that up to 2,800 applications have been received under the Pyrite Remediation Scheme. Of these, 2,000 dwellings have been remediated under the scheme at an average cost of approx. €70,000 per dwelling.
“Now that a huge bulk of houses have already been remediated, I think it is time to extend this to older homes, those bought post-2013, and those built outside of the covered counties,” Senator Doherty concluded.
Pyritic material is naturally occurring in rock which was inadvertently used as stone fill under concrete floor slabs but is unsuitable for this purpose as it is subject to expansion over time when exposed to moisture. The expansion commonly causes severe cracking of floor slabs and other building elements and can make dwellings uninhabitable.
The Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 was enacted to put in place a scheme for the remediation of dwellings adversely affected by pyrite. The Act established the Pyrite Resolution Board who consider applications to the scheme and oversee the procurement of the remediation. Implementation of the Pyrite Remediation Scheme is by The Housing Agency.