Defective Concrete Block Grant Scheme must be changed to provide upfront grant payments to homeowners – Pearse Doherty T.D.

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty has called for the Minister for Housing to change the ‘failing’ Defect Concrete Block Grant Scheme and provide upfront grant payments to homeowners to commence remediation works.

Teachta Doherty said: “The Defective Concrete Block Grant Scheme must be changed so that homeowners are provided upfront grant payments to commence remediation works.

Homeowners have been badly let down by the failing defective concrete blocks redress scheme but are trying to engage with the scheme as it exists in order to rebuild their homes and lives.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Last week I raised with both the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Housing the significant funding shortfalls homeowners are facing to commence works and the critical issue of mortgageability of these properties.

Pearse Doherty TDPearse Doherty TD
Pearse Doherty TD

“Homeowners are being forced to take out loans from banks and credit unions to commence remediation works and are being hit with significant interest costs.

“It is now over six months since the banking industry sent a proposal to the department for a bridging finance product to resolve this issue with no decision made by government.

“This is ridiculous – but it should not even be necessary.

“Last week I asked the Minister for Housing to change the scheme and provide upfront grant payments so that these funding shortfalls can be addressed and homeowners can begin remediation works.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The Minister refused to commit to this call – this is despite the fact that the Department of Finance raised this option to his Department in November in documents I received through Freedom of Information.

“I have also raised the fact that the core issue of mortgageability has still not been resolved.

"Despite responses past promises by the government that these properties would be fully mortgageable once a home has been certified as remediated, many engineers cannot guarantee certification of properties for a number of options under the scheme.

“A meeting of the Implementation Steering Group - which includes all stakeholders including affected homeowners was due to meet in February – but was cancelled by the Department, with no meeting taking place since.

“These meetings are crucial and must be guaranteed to take place at least once a month to resolve this and other outstanding issues once and for all.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I recently requested that the Finance Committee invite the banking sector, Engineers Ireland and the Department of Housing before it to discuss these critical issues.

“These meetings will take place in the coming weeks and Sinn Féin will not stop until homeowners have certainty that they will be able to rebuild their homes and lives.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.