Over 12,500 properties around the country were damaged by “pyritic heave” following the building boom. This occurs where the presence of the mineral pyrite in the foundations causes subsidence and cracks in the structure.
The work, estimated to cost between €40,000 and €50,000 per property, is to be funded by a mandatory as-of-yet-undecided levy on insurance policies and on the quarry industry.
This pyrite remediation scheme is to be funded as part of the €767m to be given to the Department of the Environment for expenditure next year.
A further €50m is being made available to the department for social housing construction as part of the Government’s stimulus plan and another €240m in exchequer equity is to be invested in Irish Water to fund the company’s water and wastewater capital programme.
Meanwhile, €150,000 is being made available to Irish Water Safety to help reduce the increased numbers of drowning fatalities, and €3m extra is available for capital investment in fire and emergency services.
Mr Hogan said yesterday that no local authority will be worse off next year because of the introduction of the property tax and the transition of water services to Irish Water. He said a proportion of local property tax receipts will remain in the local authority area from 2015 onwards.
Up to 70% of his department’s budget will go to support housing, including regeneration and the Rental Accommodation Scheme, which it is expected will see 2,500 people transfer from rent supplement next year.
Another 14,100 social houses are to be targeted next year for energy efficiency through a retrofitting programme, of which 12,500 will be upgraded as part of the Government’s capital stimulus package.
Up to 175 housing units for people with special needs will also be developed and up to 150 leased units will be provided to cater for people with disabilities leaving institutional care.
It is expected 5,700 housing adaptation grants will assist older people and people with disabilities to remain at home for longer.
Another €48m will be invested in the Local and Community Development Programme which provides employment, training, personal development, and other supports for the most disadvantaged areas.