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Suzanne Byrne of Dunshaughlin Co Meath demonstrates the damage caused to her home by pyrite. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
pyrite heave

Homeowners with pyrite problems can apply for funding from next week

Homes in 74 estates were identified as being at risk from ‘pyrite heave’ which causes buckling of floors and walls.

THE ONLINE SYSTEM for homeowners applying for pyrite remediation goes live next week, Environment Minister Phil Hogan has confirmed.

Initial funding of €10 million was announced last year to help householders dealing with problems caused by the building material, and it’s expected more money will be made available later this year. The initial tranche of cash is being made available to some 1,000 homes that are in immediate need of repair.

It’s believed there’s over 10,000 properties contaminated by the backfill substance, which can cause bulging and cracking of floors and walls.  Homes in 74 estates in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Offaly were identified as being at risk from contamination in a 2012 Government report.

The only current solution for homes affected by pyrite is removal of the material, and replacement. The typical cost for an average house is around €45,000.

The ‘Pyrite Remediation Scheme’ published this morning sets out the conditions needed for a home to qualify for funding:

  • Homes must be located within the counties of Kildare, Meath or Offaly or the administrative areas of Fingal County Council or Dublin City Council;
  • They must have been constructed and completed between 1st January 1997 and 12 December 2013
  • They must have been assessed, tested and certified as having a damage condition rating of 2 — and it must be verified that damage is attributable to ‘pyrite heave’.
  • The applicant must be the owner or joint owner of a dwelling.
  • The applicant must show that he/she does not have available to him or her any practicable option, other than under the Scheme or the use of his or her own resources, to remediate or secure the remediation of the dwelling.

Once remediation is granted, the cost of fixing the problem will be borne by the PRB — from the sampling and assessment phase, through to final certification.

The following costs “may” also be covered:

  • The vouched cost (including VAT) of procuring the initial ‘Building Condition Assessment’ subject to an overall maximum limit of €500
  • The vouched costs for the temporary removal, storage and return of furniture, household appliances and effects [subject to an upper limit of €2,500 (including VAT)]
  • The vouched costs for alternative accommodation of the household [subject to an upper limit of €3,000 (including VAT)]

Additionally, according to the PRB: “Where the scheme participant satisfies the Housing Agency in advance that suitable rental accommodation cannot be obtained for €3,000 or less, the storage and accommodation expenses may be combined, but is subject to an overall limit of €5,500 (including VAT)”.

According to the Minister, homes will be assessed and repaired in geographical groups in order to achieve economies of scale and “ensure the cost effectiveness and efficacy in the delivery of the scheme”.

Applications for remediation can be made next week at the PRB website. The process opens on Wednesday 26 February.

Read: Over 10,000 homes could harbour unidentified pyrite problems

Read: Government announces €10 million for pyrite repairs

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