RULES for the operation of the new defective concrete blocks grant could be signed on Friday, according to Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD.
Despite that, uncertainty remains over exactly when the scheme will open to applications.
Deputy Cathal Crowe contacted members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) to address that and other questions that arose at their meeting in Ennis a fortnight ago. Deputy Crowe tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions (PQs) on foot of homeowners concerns. One of these was to Minister for Finance Michael McGrath. Deputy Crowe asked if he was aware that owners of homes with defective concrete blocks are, in the main, unable to have their homes remortgaged. He also asked how he proposes to address this with pillar banks in this regard.
Minister McGrath said that while the Government response on the defective concrete block issue is primarily led by the Minister for Housing, he recently met with the banking and insurance defective block redress group to discuss their concerns on this issue, including in relation to mortgages and financing issues.
“I understand the very difficult situation faced by homeowners whose houses are affected by defective concrete blocks, and the Government is determined to assist households in this situation,” Minister McGrath said. “In relation to any request for new credit, while the decision on such applications is a commercial matter for individual lenders, I will engage with the banking sector with a view to addressing as far as possible the various banking related issues raised by the group.
“I welcome the fact that Banking and Payments Federation Ireland also met the group and I understand that there will continue to be an engagement between the group, departments and the industry on these and other related matters.”
Separately, it is widely reported that issues in Donegal that were delaying the finalising of the regulations for the new scheme will be resolved with final sign-off before the end of the week.