Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us…it lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.
So – what IS wrong with the CIF and their new Register of Builders (CIRI)? Up, until Saturday, March 1st, 2014 the CIF were just a company that I would hear of now and again in the media – slightly annoying reports of them wanting to reduce the pay of electrians and the like…they were not on my ‘radar’ at all – that has now changed. Since that dreadful day when the Building control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 came into force here in Ireland – I think I can now speak for all the self builders in Ireland when I say – ‘everything is wrong with the CIF and CIRI in our point of view!’
With the BC(A)R 2014 the Government have now effectively taken the tools out of our hands and replaced them with pens for us to sign ourselves over for many years to a massive mortgage – to enslave ourselves to builders & banks (celtic tiger de ja vu!). These new laws state that it is now illegal to self build in Ireland – the construction of our new house must go through a main building contractor and an Assigned Certifier must also be employed. The cost of which sends our budget spiralling out of control with the result of our plans vanishing into oblivion. It is so sickening to think that our planned dream home will now never exist – and unfortunately we are one of thousands who will have this sickening thought.
The laws state that a ‘competent’ builder must be employed – this ‘competent’ builder seems to be most welcome in the eyes of the Assigned Certifier also. I personally think it actually has nothing to do with the fact that the builder may or may not in fact be ‘competent’ – as there is no ‘school for builders’ – just the fact that the builder will have suitable insurance in place to shoulder the burden of accountability in the future when Mr & Mrs Lawcase come looking for the Assigned certifier! I do not for one second blame the Assigned Certifiers for thinking this way as the BC(A)R 2014 are set up to wipe out self builders from the construction sector and the ‘authors’ of the BC(A)R 2014 knew very well what they were doing and every single word was carefully thought out.
There was a real opportunity for the Irish Government to introduce a fair, independent building inspectorate which is in place in most other countries – an Inspectorate which would include all of us – an Inspectorate that would be cost neutral to the State. This Inspectorate is in the link below:
A Register of Qualified Tradesmen is what is needed – contractors who are all tax compliant, have insurance etc.. Men that can actually prove they are more than just ‘competent’ they are in fact qualified – maybe a licence system for builders also should be introduced (this system would generate revenue, would weed out the ‘cowboys’ etc..) – also, a VAT return scheme on materials used for the self builder. This would wipe out the black economy that our government are so worried about – what they fail to see is that the BC(A)R 2014 will not only wipe out the black economy it will also wipe out the whole economy (or part of!)
The CIF are touring Ireland and giving media Interviews explaining CIRI – they ‘claim’ there never was a Register of Builders in Ireland – this is absolute baloney as we have always had the National Guild of Master Craftsmen – they really have a brass neck giving such mis-information to the Nation. In my opinion I think it is immoral of the CIF to blame the likes of Priory Hall on the fact that they say there never was a register of builders – shouldn’t every building contractor who enters into a deal to build a house for a client do his utmost best to ensure the client receives the best work possible for their money? How outrageous of the CIF to claim that the reason there was shoddy workmanship in the past was because there was no register – how nonsensical – how gullible do these men think we are??
As the CIF’s Register of Builders is now enshrined within our laws I think it is only right that we check out this company that is so highly regarded by our law makers – they must be something really special when they hold dominant position in our Construction Sector – when they were worth wiping out the self build sector – a sector by the way that is a viable contributor to our economy – a sector that gives employment to local tradesmen, stores etc…- so for the government to erase the self build sector forever the CIF must be some boyos!
After extensive research on google I came across some interesting quotes from the CIF over the past few years – some I had heard before – others were a real revelation! All of these quotes are from the CIF Chief – and for those who don’t know already – he is an ex government Minister also!:
“Our message is now is the time to buy – there is real value out there!” – May ’08 Irish Examiner
“The IMF don’t know what they’re talking about!” – Oct. ’08 The Last Word – in response to the presenter saying that the IMF reported that Irish House Prices were most overvalued.
“Now we see value” and “we still need 40,000 houses built!” – Oct. ’08 Newstalk
The CIF Chief claimed he’d never seen a ghost estate! – Nov. ’08 The Last Word
“WE [IN THE CIF] SAW THE CRASH COMING!!” – Jan. ’09 Morning Ireland
“I’m in and out of the Dail every other day…every chance I get..” – Oct. ’10 Irish Independent
“House prices need to rise to make it viable for builders to make a profit” – Jan. ’14 Newstalk
“We have been getting good vibes from this Government…I have access to the Toaiseach’s office…I would find this Government very accessible..” – Jan. ’10 Irish Independent
Wow! You couldn’t make this stuff up – even if you tried! The CIF should have shut it’s doors years ago – if they saw the crash coming – why on earth were they advising young families only weeks earlier to buy, buy, buy, buy – knowingly encouraging them to buy homes way overpriced and now they live in negative equity!! And I really don’t know who the Chief is trying to impress telling the world that he has access into the Taoiseach’s office? He certainly does not impress the self builder – especially in light of where we are now – we find it rather obnoxious and hurtful.
Where are we now? The CIF are the guys who are deemed more ‘competent’ than us!! – these are the guys who have now been crowned as the ‘Kings of construction’ – these are the guys that self builders and the whole nation must ‘curtsey’ to – we are all now their loyal subjects – these are the guys that are part of the ‘elite’ – these are the guys that all the sub-contractors must ‘keep sweet’ to gain employment – after reading all of the quotes above, in my opinion these guys are about as ‘competent’ as a bunch of clowns and I wouldn’t trust anyone off their register to build a doll’s house!!
To the outsider looking in on the S.I. 9 talks that took place over the past two years – talks that involved key stakeholders – all of these stakeholders had a vested interest in the outcome – one would wonder what on earth a private company, the CIF, were doing at the table? There were no consumer groups, Trade Unions, Self Builders – no one that these laws would actually affect were invited to these talks – but then again none of these groups have an ex-government minister as their chief.! – he was always going to infiltrate these talks.
For the rest of us now left behind, erased from our laws, outcasts in construction – the ‘lepers’ of building control – we want to shout out to our leaders in Leinster House: the words of that temperamental Tennis Champion – John McEnroe – “You CANNOT be serious???”
My latest letter to Minister Phil Hogan on April 6th, 2014 (stall awaiting a reply!)
Re: SI 9 issues yet to be resolved by you
I write to you regarding the SI 9 and I refer to my last three letters to you, and most especially the last one – Ref: REP1164/PH/14 and so far have had no answers to most pressing questions. I would appreciate some attempt at answering them in the coming week as they are critical to all the Citizens of this Nation.
The Nation is waiting to see when you are going to amend the Documents within the SI 9 to include the words: ‘Building Owner’ or ‘Self Builder’. It really is most entertaining to read your latest statements on the issue and if it weren’t so serious we could all fall about laughing at the wording.
Fine Gael Councillors up and down the country relay your ‘rebuttals’ word for word to the electorate. Those poor men and women you send to the Nation’s doorsteps, in the direct firing line, with absolutely no defence but empty words designed to make us all fall asleep.
By the way, in your latest ‘rebuttal’ I note that you claim the CIRI number on the Certificates is ‘not mandatory’ – how astonishing that something you claim is ‘not mandatory’ is cited on a Statutory Instrument and yet something that is absolutely CRITICAL to the entire nation is nowhere to be seen – ie. the wording ‘self build / direct labour’. You must rectify this ‘mistake’ immediately. We know this can be done as within a week after the SI 9 were implemented you issued an amendment to them – SI 105 – we want no more excuses – you cannot discriminate against the ordinary man and woman while at the same time show favoritism to your own there in our Government.
On a more worrying note, below is an extract from a statement on the SI 9 written by the Conveyancing Committee of the Law Society to its members – obviously the Law Society don’t ‘believe’ your statements on self building either:
In the meantime, however, a self-build owner will… have to find an architect, engineer or surveyor that is willing to undertake the task of acting as an Assigned Certifier – in most cases for a person with no experience acting as a “builder”. Doing so will clearly increase the risk for the architect, engineer or surveyor and such professionals would be best advised not to undertake such a role in this sort of situation.
This is most serious as this renders self building impossible. As it is you and your officials who are telling the Nation that self build can continue, I think an immediate meeting of the three professional bodies and yourself, should be arranged as a matter of paramount importance. You need to warn them that their members can be struck off their Registers if they don’t work alongside self builders as they are not ‘playing ball’ with the Regulations. You should also contact the Law Society immediately as they are misinforming these professions.
If however, the Law Society and everyone else in Ireland are right and you really have banned self building / direct labour – the preferred method of building a family home in Ireland for centuries – well then I don’t know how you can sleep at night as you have destroyed a most beautiful tradition. Everyone says what you have done is Draconian – I beg to differ – the SI 9 don’t belong in the dark ages – they don’t belong to any historical era – even Draco himself allowed men build a shelter for their families!
I must tell you, my friends in South Africa are abhorred at the building control fiasco in ‘Ireland’ as are my friends in the States and the U.K. – the word is getting out there – the world is watching you Sir, to see when you will call back this ‘SI 9 Monster’ you have unleashed on your poor citizens.
As for your counterparts in Europe – when the news filters through that you are being so irrational – you will be frowned upon – Germany, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, the UK – all these countries know the importance of self building – they have systems which support, encourage and reward self builders – they see the dignity it gives to a family to realise their dream.
I sometimes compare the ‘self build’ construction of a home to that of the birth of a child. The idea is ‘conceived’ and seemingly out of nothing a ‘being’ starts to evolve. It takes months of ups and downs – tears and laughter – but at the end, after the ‘labour’, after the blood, sweat & tears, a beautiful, unique ‘being’ is present on the earth. Every single one different from the ones that have gone before and unique in it’s own right. Never to be reproduced again – with it’s own individual ‘fingerprint’. And, just like the whole process from conception to birth in a human, we rely on the professionals to get us through it and to guide us – we too, when self building need the professionals to guide us through the whole process.
We all have the right to be ‘parents’ of our family homes – we are well able to take on the role of ‘parent’ – it is our natural instinct to want to have a ‘child’ and we will be most loving and tender with this ‘child’ – we don’t want you to force us by law to use a ‘surrogate’ parent (Building Contractor) – a ‘surrogate’ who only goes through the ‘birth’ for money – a ‘surrogate’ who will not nurture or love the ‘child’ in the way we can – in fact a ‘surrogate’ who will be most brutish with the ‘child’.
For you to force the citizens of this country pay thousands upon thousands for a building contractor when they are perfectly capable – and competent – to do it for themselves is an outrage – It is against the rights of the citizens and is a National scandal.
For your information, I will now list the five functions of Government – it seems you have forgotten them of late, you may also pass on this to An Taoiseach, Minister Jan O’Sullivan, and it would do no harm to forward the points to your officials in the Department. It seems you have forgotten who elected you to make their lives better – not worse – and I think you must all consult your consciences and come together to fix this mess – perhaps a refresher course in the ‘Basics of Governing’ would be most helpful also.
Five Functions of Government:
•to establish justice
•to form a union
•to ensure domestic tranquility
•to promote welfare
•to provide defence
I regret to inform you that the implementation of the SI 9 has just sliced through the first four functions like a ‘chainsaw slicing a fruitcake’. The S I 9 are unjust (self build banned, mass unemployment ie. Tradesmen, ATs, Draughtsmen), they create divisions (Architectural Technoligists vs RIAI Architects, building contractors vs self builders, rich vs poor), they ensure domestic distress (families laden down with massive mortgages and an overall sense of despair among the Nation) and the only welfare they promote is the well being and financial security of building contractors and the CIF.
I send you on again the link to a perfect solution, which will cost the State nothing and will resolve every issue within the SI 9 – there is absolutely no reason why it cannot be implemented:
Regards to you at this most difficult time in Building Control and I am looking forward to your response to these most pressing and critical issues.
The Following letter was sent to Social Justice Ireland on April 22nd, 2014:
Re: Self Builders need Social Justice help
Dear Fr. Sean & Social Justice Team,
My name is Amanda Gallagher from Sligo. Myself & my husband have done a number of Radio & TV interviews in the last few weeks. We are absolutely devastated at what Minister Phil Hogan has done to our family and the entire country. We were due to self build our new family home in the summer but as of March 1st last you can no longer self build in Ireland. This is an absolute disgrace – we are now the only country in the world to ban self building. All construction must go through a main building contractor at extortionate prices.
We are currently in a local authority house and were going to hand the keys back to the State for another family in need when our home was built – in fact we are one of 1800 families alone this year who have abandoned our planned builds as we will never be able to afford building contractors rates – the introduction of these laws has just created a bigger housing crisis than the one that is already gripping the nation.
The Minister is not being truthful with the entire nation – I personally feel he is too scared to tell the truth as the nation would be horrified on hearing it – he is still issuing statements that you can self build but even the Law Society have now advised the professionals not to work alongside self builders. These laws have just widened the gap between the rich people and the poor people in Ireland. They are most restrictive, they offer no new safety measures for the consumer, they enshrine the CIF (Construction Industry Federation), they are anti social, unjust and are the most irrational laws ever to be introduced in Ireland – I say irrational because a self builder does exactly the same thing as a self building contractor – we both study plans, employ tradesmen, listen to architects, purchase materials – there is one difference however – the building contractor gains a hefty profit!!
The Government have now introduced incentives for Developers and builders to gain easier access to finances to build for profit! I was absolutely shocked on hearing this grim news. They erase the right for the ordinary man to build a home for his family while at the same time they fuel the greed of developers and builders – one must question the rationale of this present government – have they learned nothing of the terrible boom & bust days?
The Minister has been given an alternative building control solution, invented by 2 past presidents of the RIAI – a solution that would not burden the ordinary families in Ireland with enormous debt – a solution that would include self builders. Self building is the preferred method of building in Ireland, it is a centuries old tradition – but now with these new laws – building a home for one’s family is only for the rich!
We need the help of Social Justice Ireland. We have nowhere else to turn.
Regards & God love you,
Amanda Gallagher (Sligo)
Reply from Social Justice Ireland received on April 23rd, 2014:
Many thanks for your email. We will endeavour to bring up this issue that you have highlighted in any future meetings that we may have with policymakers and the Department of Environment.
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in Politics – is that you end up being governed by your inferiors!
The Following letter was sent to the entire Labour Party of Ireland on Good Friday 2014:
Mr James Connolly
Re: Labour Party needs to help Self Builders
Dear Labour Party Members,
I write to you regarding the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 – (SI 9) and the effect they have on people trying to provide a home for their family in Ireland. My name is Amanda Gallagher from County Sligo. Myself and my husband were planning a ‘self build’ this summer. We have 5 young children and we were going to hand the keys of our current council house back to the State when our build was complete. Our story was featured on RTE Radio & TV Shows and also the Six One News on Friday, Feb. 28th last – we hoped our pleas for a deferral of these new Building Control laws to the Minister would be listened to – how naive of us!
I write to you with the gravest concerns. S.I. 9 are the most unjust, irrational laws ever to be implemented in the history of this State. The Councillors in Wicklow County Council voted recently to formally request that Minister Hogan revokes S.I. 9 for one-off self build family homes and rightly so – but I was shocked to see that all Labour Councillors on this Council voted against this motion – how can Labour be against the principle of a family to build their own home in Ireland – how can you justify this? Actually you can’t justify this – these laws are unjustifiable.
By the Labour Party agreeing to these restrictive Building Control laws you have reneged your party’s core principles – Freedom, Equality, Community & Democracy – those core principles that have been at the heart of Labour for a century. By taking the right away from the people to provide a home for their families (without a severe financial burden) you have taken away their Freedom (they will feel hopeless, you want them chained to poverty for life with a huge mortgage) – you have treated them with Inequality (there are no longer equal rights – only the rich can build a house in Ireland) – You have denied them a sense of Community (they are now the oppressed) and you have denied them Democracy (they can no longer shape their own lives, this is a grave injustice).
What would the Founders of the Labour Party say today? – James Connolly, James Larkin & William O’Brien – God rest their brave Souls – Those courageous men who represented the workers of Ireland – ask yourself what these great men would think of the Labour Party today – they would tell you stand up, speak the truth, protect the people you were elected to protect – cherish the centuries old tradition of self building in Ireland – for without a family home Ireland will be nothing – they would tell you if you are not prepared to do this then go home and hang your heads in shame and never be seen again under the ‘Labour’ banner. How power, money, greed and the dazzling lights of Leinster House have reduced the core principles of the Labour Party to dust in the space of a century – how astonishing.
The Minister and his officials are not being truthful with the Nation – maybe they are not being truthful with Labour also – maybe they have ‘pulled the wool over your eyes’ too – but I am here to tell you no matter what they ‘say’ it does not change the Law of the Land – and that Law now states that to build a home in Ireland it must be built by a principal or director of a building company only. After this letter, Labour can no longer ‘claim’ ignorance – you cannot self build in Ireland.
Truth is the most valuable thing we have – I urge you to tell the truth to the electorate – it may be hard for them to hear it – but promise them you will do your best to correct this terrible unjust law that has been passed without their knowledge – for if you don’t have the courage to tell the truth now – I am afraid those among you who stick with the S.I. 9 for one-off family homes will be shown to be unworthy of public life in the not too distant future. As we all know you can eclipse the sun, but the TRUTH will always shine through – sooner or later – it will not go away – no matter how many statements of misinformation come from the Department – the truth will still remain. I do believe there are some honest men and women left in Labour – I have met one – so that gives me hope! The rest of you, I urge you all not to be known as the Traitors of Truth.
Here is an article on how to fix this whole mess: http://bregsforum.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/2576/
This is Labour’s chance to do the right thing – to tell Fine Gael these laws are wrong – to point them in the direction of a better solution – a system of building control that is fair to the entire Nation and is cost neutral to the State – there is no reason in the world why this system cannot be implemented. After all, the S.I. 9 has erased the right for a family to build their own home – this is like Minister Quinn removing the right to an Education from the Nation because he couldn’t put together a School Inspectorate – it is outrageous! By the way I have noted that Minister Quinn was shown favouritism less than one week after the implementation of S.I. 9 as he ensured his building projects were exempted from these outrageous regulations. Here is the link to the solution that must be implemented with immediate effect:
The Law Society have now advised all Assigned Certifiers not to take on the role of certifier for a self builder. This is serious as this fact alone renders self build impossible in Ireland today. Here is the link to the Law Society’s advise:
Ireland is now the only country in the world to ban self building – how sad – how grim – we have become an international joke – the U.K. Government have just introduced the ‘Right to ‘Build’ Scheme which enables low income families to get up and build a home for themselves. They quote an example of the cost of £130,000 to self build as opposed to £220,000 to buy a Building Contractors home – what a huge difference. So the UK Government have set up a system that make it easier to get mortgages to self build, (Build Store UK) they have made sites available for families etc and they return all VAT on materials used in the build. This is most admirable of the UK, Australia too, give incentives to self builders, in fact all of Europe enshrine self building.
Now, let us look at what our Government have done to us – wiped out the rights of the ordinary man and woman to build their own home- and given incentives to Building Contractors and Developers to build more houses! – have you not seen all the Ghost Estates in Ireland? – the CIF said in an interview in January that house prices must rise to make it viable for builders and developers to build houses with a profit – what greed! – let the CIF say that to young families struggling to buy a suitable family home within their budget – disgraceful – the Government are financially supporting and rewarding the same men who have us all on our knees with debt- the same men have now been enshrined in our laws and given incentives to ‘build for profit’ – our coalition Government – Labour & Fine Gael have the audacity and stupidity to fuel the greed of these men – I hope before these men get their ‘reward’ you insist that they go around all their past projects and fix any shoddy workmanship that has shown up since they got their princely sums from the poor buyer – that poor owner who is today in negative equity – I hope their is a ‘fix past projects first’ clause before any financial support goes their way. Here is the link to an article on this shameful incentive:
Labour Party – unless you make a stand right now and inform Fine Gael that they must revoke these irrational laws for one-off family homes then the Nation will have no choice but to turn their backs on Labour – just as you have turned your backs on the ordinary men and women of Ireland – the Tradesmen, the self builders, the farmers, the architects, the civil engineers, the architectural technologists, the draughtsmen – the local builders merchants and building suppliers – the young apprentices – our children of tomorrow and our ancestors of the past. You have the chance now to strengthen once again the core principles of the Labour Party – take that chance – while the Nation is watching. It is always the right time to do the right thing – never forget this.
My last piece of advice to you is – do not attempt to have any part in this big commemoration of the 1916 Rising that Fine Gael are organising – because with the introduction of the S.I. 9 Fine Gael have just proved that they no longer ‘put people first’ they now ‘put builders and developers first’ – Fine Gael no longer stand for any principal that the people of the 1916 Rising stood for. Please remember – the Spirit, the Genes and the DNA of those men, women and children of 1916 are alive and kicking in the men, women and children of the Irish today – we are those people of 1916 – our reputation precedes us when our freedom feels threatened – when our rights are withdrawn from us – when our hopes and dreams are crushed – when our own Government makes our hearts sink with the notion that if we want to build a home for our children we must do so with enormous financial burden – we are the people of 2014 – and we now say enough is enough – free our hands from these chains of the S.I. 9 – and let us all pull together to retrieve the Ireland we all love – it should be your mission to not only get Ireland working again but also to get Ireland ‘smiling’ again. We cannot even smile anymore with the injustice we feel has been thrown upon us by this Government.
I hope you take on board my suggestions – I am only one of thousands by the way who feel the injustice and I only want to warn you of the destruction the S.I.9 is causing and will cause the economy, the reputation, the community spirit and the lives of the people of this great Nation of ours.
Regards to you all at this difficult time in Ireland,
Mrs Amanda Gallagher
I am a dedicated follower of the Channel 4 TV series Grand Designs including Grand Designs Revisited and Grand Designs Australia – these are great shows following intrepid self builders and their ups & downs – their blood, sweat and tears during the build and the race to get the build finished or sometimes not! Building The Dream and The House that 100K Built are also very interesting TV shows – all following ordinary men and women going to extraordinary lengths to construct their dream home.
I always wondered why Irish Television Production teams never picked up on the self build project idea for a series – I know we have shows like About the House and Room to Improve but these do not revolve around the area of Self building. Up until, Saturday, March 1st, 2014, Ireland was one of the top countries in the world for self building – 60% of one-off houses in the country were self built – with figures now emerging from counties such as Mayo where 90 % of one-off homes were self builds.
How appalling that since the implementation of the restrictive BC(A)R 2014 laws – we now are the only country in the world to ban self building – we were once the unsung heroes of self building and now we are the outcasts – it is so sad. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to work out why all construction of one-off houses now must go through a main building contractor – although the powers that be claim these laws are necessary for consumer safety, the figures clearly show that it is a lucrative business – nor does one need to be a rocket scientist to realise that most of the one off houses in the future will simply not exist as most self builders build for themselves out of financial necessity, although, there are some of us who do so out of sheer enjoyment (myself & Raymond fall into the latter category!)
So, where does the self builder stand at this present time in Ireland? The self builder is an outcast in Ireland today, the self builder has been erased from the construction sector, the self builder has been forgotten, the self builder is now a slave to the Banks & Builders – and as vile as this statement is for the ordinary, honest, moral, hard working person to hear – I would not be too down about it if I were you because in the words of that great orator and escaped American slave, Frederick Douglass “If there is no struggle, there is no progress” – this courageous man fought for freedom from slavery – I urge you, too, to fight this irrational law as we and the Irish Association of Self Builders are fighting – make your voices heard, sign our Petition and explain these laws to everyone who will listen!
You know, it did not take the BC(A) R 2014 to make me realise that self builders were overlooked already in Ireland, I had always thought this – in fact, in a strange ‘Amanda’ way I see a great opportunity hidden within these awful regulations – I see this struggle to restore self building once more in Ireland as an opportunity for real progress in the self build sector.
I am a ‘glass is half full’ kind of girl and I firmly believe through sheer determination that we will restore self building once more in Ireland – in fact I am adamant that self builders will be recognised as a viable contributor to the economy and therefore we will be rewarded and incentivised and we may even get a TV series dedicated to following the Irish self builder and it may even be called: Aah! Sure ‘Tis Grand….Designs!
..and the Oscar goes to…the entire Fine Gael Party for their role in the ‘Irish Building Control Drama’ and most especially for their convincing portrayal to the Nation that “self build can continue as before..”..watch this space.. it will be Hollywood next – superstars every last one of them!!
Dear Housing Agency,
I write to you at this most difficult time in Irish Building Control. I don’t know if you are aware of the Building Control Controversy that is taking place at the moment? Minister Phil Hogan implemented the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 9) on March 1st last. Myself and my husband are absolutely devastated along with everyone else who is ‘in the know’. Our story was featured on local radio stations, newspapers, RTE Radio Shows, the Morning Edition Show & the Six One News on Friday, February 28. Maybe you caught some of it – anyway it would be no exaggeration to tell you every single person that we have spoken to, without exception, is horrified when they realise just what our Government have done.
We were due to self build our new family home this Summer – we were totally astonished when Minister went ahead and implemented these restrictive laws as we were not the only ones pleading with him for a deferral – the RIAI also wanted them deferred and asked on a few occasions for him to do so – even though on the RTE Morning Ireland Show on February 28th when Minister Hogan was informed yet again of the RIAI plea for a deferral he played a blinder and acted like he had never heard their request before! The man is in line for an Oscar at this stage!
The S.I.9 state that all construction over 40msq must now go through a principal or director of a building company only. From next March that Building Contractor must be taken from the CIF Register of Builders (CIRI) – this is an absolute scandal and we are all abhorred at how a private company is now enshrined within our laws? and we, the ordinary man and woman – the nation – the people this country’s survival depends on are erased from our laws – how on earth has this happened? In my opinion it as something to do with the CIF Chief – Mr Tom Parlon being an ex-Government Minister along with the fact that he just refuses to leave our Government Ministers alone to make up their own minds!
The mis-information coming from Minister Hogan and his officials in the Department is mind boggling – one would wonder if they actually cherish their positions at all? They should all be ashamed of themselves as they have made Ireland an international joke – we are now the only country in the world to ban self building – outrageous. These laws offer no new consumer protection so they are an injustice to every person on this Island except the CIF of course – they are now fully protected against Independent Inspections and are financially secure for the rest of their days.
I note your recent report in the media of nearly 80,000 houses needed by 2018 in Ireland. Firstly, why did you release figures like this to the CIF – don’t you know they will have all their hopes up now thinking that 80,000 people will be able to ‘buy’ these needed houses. You know when they hear large figures & the word ‘houses’ in the one sentence they are drooling at the mouth. I think you should release a breakdown of that 80,000 figure and reiterate how many if those people are in need of social housing as opposed to buyers and this may calm the CIF down a little. You know if a bull knows there is a cow in a field nearby he will break down fences, hedges even walls to get to her – the same can be said of the Developers and builders of the not too distant past – if they know there are young families with mortgage approvals nearly – they too, will break down all barriers to get their hands on them – they have even infiltrated our laws to get their hands on all of our homes – you really couldn’t make up all of the double dealing that has gone on in Leinster House in relation to the S.I. 9. It is the makings of a thrilling Novel.
I look forward to hearing your revised statement of housing needs in Ireland – I know you all owe your jobs there in the Housing Agency to the CIF – as you were set up by the Government because they knew well the amount of people who were persuaded into buying overpriced houses in the boom times by the CIF – and those poor people who had to close the door behind themselves of their dream homes and hand the keys back to the Banks – these poor people were always going to make up the bulk of housing needs in the future and the government knew this – thus the Housing Agency was born. Notwithstanding all of that – you do have a responsibility to advise the Government on the Housing Crisis in Ireland and you can now change that 80,000 figure to 88,000 as this year alone 2,000 families have abandoned their planned self builds therefore by 2018 this will amount to 8,000 more families in need of housing.
It is a National Scandal that families who can build a home for themselves with a modest budget are now forced to be housed by the State and this time it is totally the Governments own fault – how economically backward is that?
Please take the time to research S.I. 9 yourselves as it does affect you also – in fact this legislation is going to cause the housing sector in Ireland such devastation in the future – the Housing Agency are going to be the busiest offices in the country!
Regards to you,