€500 million to extend defective blocks scheme to Limerick and Clare

Ann and Kieran Ryan whose home in Askeaton was built with defective blocks.

UP TO €500 million has been budgeted to cover the cost of today’s cabinet decision to extend the Defective Concrete Blocks Remediation Grant scheme to include an estimated 1,300 homes in Limerick and Clare.

The estimated cost of extensive repair or full replacement of 700 houses in Limerick and a further 600 in Clare increased the initial budget from €2.2 billion to €2.7 billion.

Welcoming the move, Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell said that he awaited the publication of the government legislation to bring the cabinet decision into effect.

“I will be considering all aspects of this legislation as it applies to Limerick households affected by defective concrete blocks,” he explained.

“Having worked over a period of time with the residents in Limerick greatly affected by defective concrete blocks to their homes, I fully understand how difficult a time this has been for them.

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“In June of last year, I asked Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to extend the defective blocks remediation grant scheme to homes in Limerick and wrote to Limerick City and County Council asking them to make the necessary application to the Department of Housing for this to be considered by the Minister.

“Today’s announcement will come as great relief to residents in addressing the defective concrete blocks in their homes and I look forward to continuing to work with them here” Deputy O’Donnell added.

The existing legislation allows for grants up to 100 per cent of rebuilding costs subject to an overall maximum of €420,000 per dwelling. The grants will be based on the construction cost report prepared by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.

The Housing Agency will play a key role in assessing the damage to homes and determining on behalf of the local authorities the appropriate remediation option and grant rate for each dwelling.