Low-cost loans ‘not sufficient’ to repair defective Celtic Tiger homes

Construction Defects Alliance to tell Oireachtas committee redress fund is best

Oireachtas committee will be told of the “huge stress” suffered by property owners who have been affected by defective buildings. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Oireachtas committee will be told of the “huge stress” suffered by property owners who have been affected by defective buildings. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

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Low-cost loans, potentially a key plank in the Government’s strategy to remediate defective Celtic Tiger-era homes, are “not sufficient” to address the issue, an Oireachtas committee will be told on Tuesday.

The Construction Defects Alliance (CDA) will tell the housing committee its preferred solution is a redress fund, modelled after similar schemes set up for the mica and pyrite defective materials issues.

“Access to cheap loans on their own (whether that’s no interest or very low interest) would not be acceptable as a solution for tackling the costs of remediation,” the committee will be told. “They would still leave the owners 100 per cent on the hook for remediating defects they did not in any way cause.”

‘Huge stress’

The committee will hear that the “very least” solution expected by the Alliance would be a “combination of soft loans and tax breaks, or a financial equivalent”.

The committee will be told of the “huge stress” suffered by property owners who have been affected by defective buildings, with people being asked to pay thousands of euro for remedial works on top of mortgages, management fees and other financial demands. The CDA will tell the committee that the defects in their members’ properties are mostly fire-safety issues or water ingress-related.