A view of Dublin , Source: Matteo Grando / Unsplash

Ireland launches 2.5 billion-euro in aid to repair defective buildings

Ireland launches 2.5 billion-euro in aid to repair defective buildings

The majority of buildings constructed between 1991 and 2013 have gaps in fire safety and water ingress causing major problems for homeowners

Today, the Irish government approved an aid scheme to fully fund repairs of defective apartments constructed during the Celtic Tiger period, between 1991 and 2013. What one opposition politician Richard Boyd Barrett described as ‘cowboy builders’ in a lax regulatory environment has resulted in an estimated 100,000 apartments featuring heavy structural defects, like insufficient fire protection and water ingress.

Authorities have decided to fund the full reconstruction of the affected buildings and duplexes in a bid to mediate the regulatory lapse of judgement during the period. Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien, however, explained that the 2.5-billion-euro scheme will take a number of months until payments start making their way to homeowners so he postponed high hopes for 2024.

Cowboy construction

Recently, there have been a lot of reports about defective apartments and whole buildings due to serious gaps in fire safety mechanisms and water ingress, leading to many structural issues, as well as dangerous conditions for homeowners.

The buildings in question were constructed between 1991 and 2013, with official estimates putting the number of apartments needing serious reconstruction between 50% and 80%. This accounts for roughly 62,500 and 100,000 with government estimates butting the costs of reconstruction somewhere around 25,000 euros per unit.

According to a government statement, people will be eligible for full coverage of reconstruction costs, funded by national authorities. The idea here is to go building by building so that the reconstruction can cover deficiencies in common areas. Meanwhile, many homeowners have already started fixing the problems, yet the Irish government has said that those expenses could also be covered by the programme.

Eamon O'Boyle, Fire Safety Consultant and former assistant chief fire officer with Dublin Fire Brigade was quoted by the RTÉ, explaining that the problem could extend further than private households. He pointed out that there may also be a number of hotels, nursing homes and hospitals with similar issues, which can put Ireland under a much bigger housing strain than it currently is.



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