Hogan welcomes launch of pyrite remediation scheme Application system to go ‘live’ next week

The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, T.D., today welcomed the publication of the Pyrite Remediation Scheme and the announcement by the Board that its online application system will begin to accept applications from homeowners affected by pyritic damage from 26 February 2014.

“I am delighted to announce that the Pyrite Resolution Board has published the Pyrite Remediation Scheme which will provide the framework for the assessment of applications and the carrying out of works to dwellings affected by pyritic damage,” said Minister Hogan, adding “from the middle of next week affected homeowners will be able to submit applications under the scheme which I hope will mark the beginning of the end of the hardship and stress that so many have had to endure for too long.”

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All homeowners who have registered an interest on the Pyrite Resolution Board’s website will be notified when the application system goes live. The Minister continued “having seen the dreadful situations that people have had to live with I was determined to put in place the necessary structures that would deliver reasonable and sustainable solutions for those homeowners who have no other practicable options for redress and I believe we have achieved that objective.”

The announcement of the Pyrite Remediation Scheme follows the enactment of the Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 in late December 2013 and the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board (PRB) on a statutory basis in January of this year. Since its establishment the PRB has prepared the scheme in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Act and has progressed the development of its online application system to the point where the system will be operational and ready to accept applications by the middle of next week.

Speaking earlier today, the Minister noted that “the Pyrite Resolution Board is ready to begin the assessment of applications and is anxious to facilitate the commencement of remediation works by the Housing Agency at the earliest possible opportunity. I know that all involved are committed to moving quickly to the actual works on the ground and a lot of preparatory work has already been undertaken to ensure that this can happen quickly”

In October last, the Government approved initial funding of €10 million for the roll-out of a pyrite remediation scheme with further funding to be provided in the context of the stimulus package to be announced later this year. The initial phase of the remediation programme will deal with the circa 1,000 dwellings which, on the basis of present information, are estimated to be in need of repair. Cognisant of the need to optimise the resources available to it and to ensure the cost effectiveness and efficacy in the delivery of the scheme, the PRB will group dwellings together in order to achieve economies of scale and effectiveness of operations. All procurement will be in accordance with EU and national rules and in this context Framework Agreements are being set up by the Housing Agency for professional services and contractors. It is anticipated that the scheme will be reviewed in 2015 and any post-2015 funding requirement will be dealt with at that stage having regard to developments over the interim period.

In accordance with the Report of the Pyrite Panel (July 2012), the Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 provides for a pyrite remediation scheme of “last resort”, i.e. where homeowners can establish to the satisfaction of the PRB that they have no other practical options to obtain redress.

The full conditions of eligibility of the scheme are set out in the Pyrite Remediation Scheme which is available on the PRB’s website – www.pyriteboard.ie

The Minister concluded: “A resolution is now in sight for homeowners affected by significant pyritic damage. I am confident that, over the next two years, the Board, working closely with the Housing Agency, will restore the structural integrity of pyrite damaged homes and ensure the restoration of homes as desirable, high quality and safety assured residences that can be enjoyed in the spirit in which they were originally purchased by their owners. I would like to acknowledge the patience and forbearance shown by homeowners who have had to live with difficult and distressing situations for far too long and I am happy to assure all those people that an end is now in sight. I want to also acknowledge the very positive role played by the Pyrite Action Group who have worked extremely hard on behalf of affected homeowners to achieve a solution to what is a particularly challenging and complex problem. Finally, I want to thank the Pyrite Resolution Board for the preparatory work undertaken to date and look forward to its moving on to the application phase and to the commencement of the physical remediation works.