Thirty homeowners in a Co Waterford housing estate are facing bills of up to €15,000 each for remedial work to make their homes safe after major fire deficiencies were uncovered.
The Ceol Na Mara estate in the village of Kill was completed in 2008 and is now the latest in a growing list of developments where potentially lethal fire safety defects have been uncovered.
There are 54 homes in the timber-frame development, but 24 of those, which are owned by Waterford County Council and the housing agency Respond, are having the remedial work completed. The local authority confirmed to the Irish Examiner that it has no provision for financial aid for the private owners in making their homes safe.
Respond is paying separately for the remedial work on the 19 homes it bought from Nama.
In an echo of how similar problems have come to light in other estates, the problems in Ceol Na Mara were only uncovered when a detailed survey was conducted on behalf of Respond.
The council was informed and conducted an investigation, which confirmed the serious defects.
At a meeting of owners last March, the council distributed smoke alarms to all the owners as an extra safeguard in the event of fire.
“They gave us one for each bedroom and one for the attic and another for the sitting room. Depending on how big your home, you got four or five of these,” one resident said.
Remedial work is now under way in the homes owned by the council and Respond, but the private owners have been effectively told they are on their own.
“It’s another hangover from the Celtic Tiger,” said Sinn Féin councillor Declan Clune. “Loose regulation again, more houses slapped up, poor oversight, and people left with no comeback. These people simply don’t have the money.”
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