Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
546. Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if a policy will be implemented to ensure that, where contractors, under the improvement works scheme have not fulfilled their obligations, that there would be some recourse for the beneficiary of the scheme when works have not been carried out properly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30107/10]
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Deputy Michael Finneran): In the case of housing adaptations carried out with assistance provided under my Department’s suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, relevant building works must be carried out in accordance with the Building Regulations and, in the case of new dwellings, in accordance with Part M of the Regulations in order to ensure visitability by people with disabilities. Enforcement of the Building Regulations is the responsibility of the local authorities, acting as Building Control Authorities.
In the case of improvement works falling outside of the remit of the Building Regulations, including the carrying out of repairs and the provision of fixtures and fittings, any issue relating to the standard of workmanship or materials is a matter between the householder and the contractor.
At my Department’s request, the Centre for Housing Research carried out an evaluation of the grant schemes in consultation with stakeholders, including the local authorities and representative organisations for older people and persons with a disability, and with a cross-section of grant applicants. I expect to receive the evaluation report shortly. I will consider the need for any changes in the policy and operation of the grant schemes in the light of the recommendations contained in the report.
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