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Posted: Sep 25, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Pyrite scheme extended as number of homes remediated reaches 2,000

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has extended the pyrite remediation scheme to include the administrative area of Limerick City and County Council, which will see homeowners of dwellings with significant damage attributable to pyritic heave in County Limerick eligible to apply for remediation works under the Pyrite Remediation Scheme.

Previously, only the owners of dwellings located within the counties of Kildare, Meath or Offaly or the administrative areas of Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown or South Dublin were eligible to apply for remediation works under the scheme.

€20m was provided under Budget 2020 to cover the implementation of the pyrite remediation scheme and is a clear signal of the continuing importance attached by Government to addressing the issue of significant pyritic damage in private dwellings. This will bring to approx. €150m the total funding provided under the scheme since 2014.

The latest figures available indicate that up to 2,800 applications have been received under the Pyrite Remediation Scheme. Of these, 2,000 dwellings have been remediated under the scheme at an average cost of approx. €70,000 per dwelling.

Commenting as he visited the 2000th home to be remediated under the scheme in Balbriggan Co. Dublin, Minister O’Brien said, “I am very glad to extend the pyrite remediation scheme to the people of Limerick and I fully intend on ensuring that ultimately all eligible homeowners of dwellings affected by significant damage attributable to pyritic heave can have their homes remediated under the scheme,” he concluded.

The Housing Agency undertakes the remediation of properties affected by pyritic heave once accepted into the scheme through the Pyrite Resolution Board.

Pyritic material is naturally occurring in rock which was inadvertently used as stone fill under concrete floor slabs but is unsuitable for this purpose as it is subject to expansion over time when exposed to moisture. The expansion commonly causes severe cracking of floor slabs and other building elements and can make dwellings uninhabitable.

The Pyrite Resolution Act 2013 was enacted to put in place a scheme for the remediation of dwellings adversely affected by pyrite.  The Act established the Pyrite Resolution Board who consider applications to the scheme and oversee the procurement of the remediation. Implementation of the Pyrite Remediation Scheme is by The Housing Agency.

The remediation process involves excavation and replacement of the entire ground floor structure within a dwelling, including all associated replacement of finishes, plumbing and electrical services. It normally requires the scheme participant to vacate their home for 3 months while the works are completed.

Full details of the Pyrite Remediation Scheme, including details of how to apply are available from the Pyrite Resolution Board website at www.pyriteboard.ie.

Posted: Sep 16, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:

The Housing Agency and the National Building Control Office recently hosted a lunchtime webinar on the Irish building control system as it applies to residential buildings.

John O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of The Housing Agency, discussed the development of the building control system since the enactment of the Building Control Act 1990.

Richard Butler of the National Building Control Office addressed the practical operation of BC(A)R 2014 from the NBCO's perspective, BCMS, and the future for building control.

The views expressed by the speakers in this video are not necessarily those of The Housing Agency. All information correct as of broadcast date: 15 September 2020.

Posted: Sep 14, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Watch: Multi-Unit Developments, Design Standards for New Apartments - 2018 Planning Guidelines, an Update

The Housing Agency and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland recently hosted a webinar updating stakeholders about the March 2018 Apartment Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities.

John O’Mahony FRIAI of the RIAI delivered an overview of the Guidelines and considered their operation in design and practice. David Rouse of The Housing Agency addressed the interaction of the Guidelines with the operation and management of apartment developments.

The views expressed by the speakers in this video are not necessarily those of The Housing Agency. All information correct as of broadcast date: 10 September 2020.

Posted: Sep 08, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Construction Law, High-density Housing/Multi-Unit Developments, and Recent Changes

The Housing Agency and the Construction Bar Association of Ireland will jointly host a lunchtime webinar about recent developments in law affecting high-density housing and MUDs.

The hour-long session will take place at 12pm on Tuesday 29 September.

Registration is required to participate in this free webinar. To register please visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Xl0n1Dx8T_WXNelMjZcStg. Places are limited to 500 participants, on a first-come first-served basis.

Webinar Programme

  • Introduction & background – Deirdre Ní Fhloinn, BL, and David Rouse, The Housing Agency
  • Presentations:
    • The Statute of Limitations in Property Damage Cases: Recent Developments – Anita Finucane, BL
    • Recent challenges to Strategic Housing Developments – Mema Byrne, BL
    • Regularisation of common area title when the developer is struck off – Patricia Burke, BL
  • Q&A.

Please note that this session will be recorded for future use.

Speaker Bios

Anita Finucane BL

Anita was called to the Bar in 2014.  She practices and lectures in the areas of common law, chancery and non-jury matters and construction law. Anita is a member of the Bar Council 2019/2020 and Chair of the Young Bar Committee.  Anita coordinates the relationship between the Association and the Young Bar.

Mema Byrne BL

Mema Byrne BL is a practicing barrister, member of the Law Library since 2003, and elected member of the Bar Council of Ireland. Mema has a wide civil practice with an emphasis on commercial disputes and property law. Mema is a Chairperson with the Mental Health Commission, an Adjudicator with the Private Residential Tenancies Board and a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.  She specialises in landlord and tenant, housing, land law, conveyancing, probate and local government law. Mema is the author of “Landlord and Tenant- The Commercial Sector” (Round Hall, 2014), and has contributed to the Conveyancing and Property Law Journal and the Local Government Law Review. Mema has previously lectured in land law, landlord and tenant law, and company law.

Patricia Burke, BL

With many years’ experience in the commercial world, both domestically and internationally, Patricia practises in land law, and commercial landlord and tenant. She specialises in resolving commercial disputes – contract and company. Apart from her commercial practice, she also specialises in the area of probate and trusts.

Posted: Aug 28, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
RIAI Graduate Training Scheme - Placement with The Housing Agency

The RIAI Graduate Training Scheme is seeking applications for a placement with The Housing Agency.

The programme, designed for recent graduates with a recognised qualification in architecture, is an opportunity to obtain practical work experience for three years to prepare for the Professional Practice Examinations.

The selection process will be shortlisting for competitive interview.

The package for successful applicants consists of:

  • Salary €30,000.00 per annum
  • Practical experience to prepare for the DIT/UCD Diploma in Professional Practice
  • 36 Month Placement in The Housing Agency, Dublin

The Housing Agency supports Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies in the delivery of housing and regeneration projects. It manages all stages of construction projects, from feasibility stage through to design, tender, building and handover, with a particular focus on procurement and project management.

Further information on this placement, including application form, is available at https://www.riai.ie/careers-in-architecture/gts-current-open-applications.

For further information, contact RIAI +353 1 6761703 / Email graduatetraining@riai.ie

Closing Date for return of application forms is 5pm on Friday 25 September 2020.

Posted: Aug 26, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Building Control - 30 Years On

The Housing Agency and the National Building Control Office will jointly host a lunchtime webinar on the Irish building control system as it applies to residential buildings.

John O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of The Housing Agency, will discuss the development of the building control system since the enactment of the Building Control Act 1990.

Richard Butler of the National Building Control Office will address the practical operation of BC(A)R 2014 from the NBCO's perspective, BCMS, and the future for building control.

The 50-minute session will take place at 12pm on Tuesday 15 September.

Registration is required to participate in this free webinar. To register please visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_THiDVA26S-6ycz9ZQRXyyw.
Places are limited to 500 participants, on a first-come first-served basis.

Webinar Programme

  • Introduction & background
  • Presentations:
    • John O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, The Housing Agency
    • Richard Butler, National Building Control Office
  • Q&A.

 Please note that the session will be recorded for future use.

Posted: Aug 20, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Multi-Unit Developments, Design Standards for New Apartments - 2018 Planning Guidelines, an Update

The Housing Agency and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland will jointly host a lunchtime webinar updating stakeholders about the March 2018 Apartment Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities.

John O’Mahony FRIAI of the RIAI will deliver an overview of the Guidelines and consider their operation in design and practice. 

David Rouse of The Housing Agency will address the interaction of the Guidelines with the operation and management of apartment developments.

The hour-long session will take place at 12pm on Thursday 10 September.

Registration is required to participate in this free webinar. To register please visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_f_XzEalhSWqYjsOqgwyu8Q
Places are limited to 1,000 participants, on a first-come first-served basis.

Webinar Programme

  • Introduction & background
  • Presentations on the Guidelines, including:
    • Overview of main aspects
    • Application in design/practice
    • Effects on the operation and management of developments
  • Q&A.

 Please note that the session will be recorded for future use.

Posted: Jul 27, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Housing Education Bursary Scheme

The Housing Agency is delighted to launch its Housing Education Bursary Scheme for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Recent years have seen significant developments in the areas of housing delivery and policy. Housing professionals will play a key role in shaping future developments in the sector. The Housing Agency is committed to supporting the education, training and development of housing practitioners, as well as those interested in developing a career in housing. The Housing Education Bursary Scheme will empower housing professionals to build resilient and sustainable communities in Ireland.

The Bursary Scheme supports students and housing professionals seeking to enrol in housing studies courses offered by the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) and the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), starting between September 2020 and January 2021. These include:

  • IPA NFQ Level 6 (Special Purpose Award) Certificate in Housing Studies (September 2020 start)
  • IPA NFQ Level 8 (Special Purpose Award) Professional Diploma in Housing Studies (September 2020 start)
  • ICSH Level 4 Certificate in Housing (January 2021 start).

The bursary awards are for 50% of course fees and are intended to support those who would otherwise be unable to secure funding for the full course fees from their organisation or other sources.

Applicants can apply by filling out the bursary application form and returning it to The Housing Agency by the appropriate closing date:

Course Closing Date for applications
IPA NFQ Level 6 (Special Purpose Award) Certificate in Housing Studies  12 noon, 26 August 2020
IPA NFQ Level 8 (Special Purpose Award) Professional Diploma in Housing Studies  12 noon, 26 August 2020
ICSH Level 4 Certificate in Housing  12 noon, 11 November 2020


Please note that applicants are required to make separate applications for both course attendance and this bursary scheme if they wish to avail of the bursary.

Download the Bursary Application Form

 

 

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Minister Darragh O’Brien launches Call for Housing 2020

Press Release from Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage - Darragh O'Brien

As Ireland continues to face the COVID-19 challenge, additional measures must be taken in order to provide safe and secure homes for all our communities. Minister O’Brien has today launched a “Call for Housing 2020” – a new national call for property owners and developers with vacant properties to make them available for use as social housing.

Minister O’Brien explained, “Local Authorities across the country are urgently seeking vacant residential properties to provide for those who do not have access to housing.

“We are looking for a range of properties including one bed properties, larger family homes and homes that are or can be adapted for those with a disability or accommodation suitable for older people such as a bungalow or an apartment.

“Property owners can also enter into a secure letting arrangement while retaining ownership of their asset through the Long Term Social Housing Leasing Scheme. This will provide them with a stable return on their investment during what is admittedly an uncertain time in terms of the property market.

“A range of other options are also available to property owners to assist in providing social housing supports.

“I remain firmly of the view that new builds are the appropriate approach to a long-term housing strategy, however I am keenly aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of new builds and my priority is providing sustainable and safe accommodation for those most in need of it,” he said.

Information on the available schemes and detail on how property owners can contact their local authority are available on www.callforhousing.ie, by calling 1800 200 934 (8am – 6pm Mon-Fri) or by email to callforhousing@housingagency.ie

Call for Housing flyer 2

 

Posted: Jul 06, 2020 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Updates in the Apartment and Multi-Unit Development Sector

In recent months The Housing Agency has been busy providing guidance and support for stakeholders in the apartment and multi-unit development sector in Ireland. 

Together with the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers, The Housing Agency recently published Guidance for Multi-Unit Developments and Residential Owners’ Management Companies during Coronavirus (COVID-19). The document is intended to provide practical guidance for owners’ management companies (“OMCs”), their property management agents, and their directors during the period of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The material relates to residential OMCs only. This guide is a live document and may be subject to change in line with public health advice and other external factors.

The publication of this guidance comes after two information sheets were produced by The Housing Agency, again addressing challenges brought about by the COVID-19 emergency: 10 Tips for Owners' Management Companies During COVID-19 and OMC Finances & Governance During COVID-19.

 

MUD information during COVID-19

The Housing Agency has also hosted and co-hosted several webinars in recent months:

  •  The Information Webinar for Volunteer Directors of Owners' Management Companies provided information to assist the work of volunteer directors of OMCs.
     
  • With the collaboration of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, and the Law Society of Ireland, in April The Housing Agency hosted Multi-Unit Developments, Apartment Living and COVID-19.  Panellists Aisling Keenan, management agent and author of Owners’ Management Companies Law and Best Practice, and Suzanne Bainton, solicitor with Liston & Company, addressed challenges facing MUDs and OMCs in the context of the COVID-19 emergency.
     
  • The Housing Agency and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland hosted Owners' Management Company Finances & COVID-19, a webinar addressing the financial challenges for OMCs arising from COVID-19.

  • The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) and The Housing Agency hosted Managing Apartments and Multi-Unit Developments through COVID-19. Panellists Ella Dunphy, Management Agent at DNG Ella Dunphy, Kilkenny, and Kay McGuire of Galway Property Services addressed the challenges facing apartments and multi-unit developments during COVID-19.

  • The Law Society of Ireland and The Housing Agency hosted Multi-Unit Developments - Signposts for Practitioners & Stakeholders. Presenters and panellists Suzanne Bainton of Liston & Co. and Cómhnall Tuohy of Kane Tuohy Solicitors discussed developments in law and practice for multi-unit developments and residential OMCs.

  • The Housing Agency and Engineers Ireland hosted Apartments & Multi-Unit Developments: Sustainable Buildings a free webinar for stakeholders in the apartments and multi-unit developments sector. Mairéad Phelan, Head of the National Building Control Office, addressed apartment building life cycles and design aspects in the context of long-term upkeep and maintenance costs.

  • Co-hosted by The Housing Agency and ICSA The Chartered Governance Institute, Owners' Management Companies: Corporate Governance for Company Secretaries & Stakeholders saw Conor Sweeney of CLS Chartered Secretaries address corporate governance, company law, and practical compliance concerns for OMCs. David Rouse, advisor with The Housing Agency, set the context and background, growth in OMC numbers, and wider issues for the sector. 

    The views expressed by the speakers in these webinars are not necessarily those of The Housing Agency. All information correct as of respective broadcast dates.