Repair works on tens of thousands of apartments with building defects could take up to a decade to complete, the Minister for Housing has indicated in the Dáil.

Darragh O'Brien said the average cost of the work is likely to be €20,000 for each apartment and a repair scheme would be in place for five to ten years.

The minster said he would bring options to Government which will look at how financial assistance could soon be provided to homeowners.

However, he insisted that legislation will be needed in the longer-term to administer a repair scheme.

The defects include fire safety failures, water ingress and structural issues.

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin called on the Government to quickly address what he termed Celtic Tiger era building defects.

He said that some homeowners in his constituency were facing immediate repair costs of up to €70,000.

The Pyrite Remediation Scheme's terms of reference should be changed in an effort to swiftly provide redress, he said.

Otherwise homeowners might have to wait until the middle or the end of next year before a new scheme is in place, he warned.

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste has told party colleagues that funds will have to be found for defective apartments and the Mica scheme.

Leo Varadkar said this has to be legislated for and it is important to get it right.

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