Dáil Questions – Environment – Pyrite Remediation

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Dáil Issues, Environment, Oral Questions

Clare asked the Minister for the Environment if he has had discussions with Homebond with regard to structural issues that came out during pyrite remediation. The Minister hid behind the fact that Homebond is a private company, and dodged to answer the question to give a non-answer.

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the contact he has had with Homebond in the past two months regarding the structural issues which emerged in the course of pyrite remediation; if he is satisfied that homeowner’s rights are adequately vindicated under the present arrangement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Clare Daly.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 10th December, 2015.

Ref No: 44048/15

REPLY

Minister of State for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Paudie Coffey)

HomeBond is a private limited company providing structural guarantees for new houses and, since November 2008, the HomeBond Insurance scheme is underwritten by Allianz Insurance. As is the case for any private company, its operations are a matter for its management and Board of Directors. I also understand that HomeBond Insurance Services Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. As a private company, I have no role or function in its operations and cannot direct HomeBond to take a particular course of action.

In the context of the pyrite remediation scheme, an agreement was reached between the Pyrite Resolution Board and HomeBond in June 2014 under which HomeBond agreed to contribute technical and project management services to the Board to the value of €2 million. Such services include assisting in organising and managing the testing of dwellings and project management of remediation contracts. HomeBond has also agreed to make available to the Pyrite Resolution Board/Housing Agency the results of testing undertaken by it prior to the operation of the scheme.

My Department is aware that building defects, which are outside the scope of the pyrite remediation scheme, have been identified in a number of dwellings during pyrite remediation works undertaken under the scheme. Against this background, I understand that a supplementary agreement has recently been made between the Pyrite Resolution Board and HomeBond with regard to how non-pyrite-related structural defects, which are uncovered during pyrite remediation works under the pyrite remediation scheme, will be addressed in future .