Govt approves levy in scheme to help pyrite homeowners

Wednesday 19 December 2012 07.13
Banks will provide up to €50m in loans to a special fund which will be established to assist pyrite home owners
Banks will provide up to €50m in loans to a special fund which will be established to assist pyrite home owners

The Government has approved the placing of a levy on some insurance and stone products as part of a plan to help the owners of homes damaged by pyrite to pay for repairs.

Under the scheme, devised by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and officials from his department, banks will provide up to €50m in loans to a special fund which will be established to assist pyrite homeowners.

Once those homes are repaired, the scheme will then turn to homes where pyrite is present but which have not yet suffered damage.

Details of the timeframe for the scheme and the level of levies to be applied to certain stone and insurance products have still to be worked out in discussions between the Departments of the Environment and Finance.

However, it is understood that the stone levy may be in the region of 80 cent per tonne, while the insurance levy is likely to be around 0.5% of the value of non-health insurance policies.

The fund will be administered jointly by stakeholders in the scheme, including the Construction Industry Federation, the Concrete Federation and structural insurer, Homebond.

The report of the Pyrite Panel, which was established by Minister Hogan to examine how a resolution could be found to the issues posed by pyrite, estimated that there are around 12,500 homes nationwide effected by pyrite.

These include 850 in need of immediate repair, 1,000 that have already been repaired and a further 10,250 houses where pyrite has been found, but structural problems have not yet arisen.

As part of the plan, approved by Cabinet, a Resolution Board will also be set up to determine which home owners are entitled to money from the fund.

It is expected that the average amount of funding that will be made available to the owners of pyrite damaged homes will be in the region of €45,000.

First to be assisted by the fund will be 850 homes deemed by a recent Government study of the issue to be in the most urgent need of assistance.

Once those homes are repaired, the scheme will then turn to homes where pyrite is present but which have not yet suffered damage.

Details of the timeframe for the scheme and the level of levies to be applied to certain stone and insurance products have still to be worked out in discussions between the Departments of the Environment and Finance.

However, it is understood that the stone levy may be in the region of 80 cent per tonne, while the insurance levy is likely to be around 0.5% of the value of non-health insurance policies.

The fund will be administered jointly by stakeholders in the scheme, including the Construction Industry Federation, the Concrete Federation and structural insurer, Homebond.

The report of the Pyrite Panel, which was established by the minister to examine how a resolution could be found to the issues posed by pyrite, estimated that there are around 12,500 homes nationwide effected by pyrite.

These include 850 in need of immediate repair, 1,000 that have already been repaired and a further 10,250 houses where pyrite has been found, but structural problems have not yet arisen.

Keywords: pyrite