MORE than 200 people attended a meeting for the Not Our Fault campaign in Tallaght on Saturday, November 19.
Present on the day were residents from the Crescent Building, Park West, the Academy Building and the Concert Building, also Park West, as well as residents from Hunterswood, The Metropolitan, The Tram Yard, Inchicore, The Belfry Citywest, Beaumont Court and Cathedral Court.
The Crescent Building in Park West consists of 232 apartments and was built in 2003 by a third-party contractor, P.Elliot, as part of the Park West campus which was developed by Harcourt Developments.
Last year residents of The Crescent Building were notified that the result of a fire-safety survey found non-compliance with the fire-safety certificate in various parts of the building.
The estimated costs to repair the defects is expected to be more than €5 million which means apartment owners must pay more than €68,000 each for something that was not their fault.
“The meeting on Saturday went very well,” Crescent Building apartment owner Odette Doran told Southside People.
“It was very informative, and everyone got a lot of information as they didn’t know where to turn and now, they know they know are not on their own.
“One person from the audience asked was there not any counselling services in place as he said he was aware of people having mental health issues over the huge cost and the pressure being put on people who simply cannot pay.
“TDs Paul Murphy and Eoin O’ Broin answered a lot of questions from people on the floor.
“We concluded the meeting telling people that we were taking part in the Raise The Roof protest on Saturday at 1pm in Parnell Square marching to the Dail and we are having a protest at 7pm on December 14 outside the Dail before a memo goes to cabinet on December 17 regarding what scheme will be put in place for us.”
Odette explained to Southside People that none of the effected apartment owners are going to be able to sell their apartments for nearly a decade.
“We are looking for 100% redress and it needs to be retrospective for people that have already paid-up levies,” she said.
“There was talk of offering tax credits that would be of no use to us because in the Crescent Building there is 232 units and only 69 are owner occupied.
“Which would mean the rest of the people would have to take out a loan of €68,500 to pay for the works and then claim it back in tax over the next couple of years as we explained at the meeting most of these people are accidental landlords, moved into the apartments and had children and outgrew the apartment.
“They couldn’t sell it because of the 2007 crash, and they rented them out so they could move out and rent or buy a bigger place for their family to live in.
“So, they would not have the means of taking out these loans so as Eoin O’ Broin pointed out there is only one way of fixing the issue is to fix from one end of the building to the other.
“We are looking for the government to take the project in hand themselves as they are talking about if there is a redress system, they would more than likely pay the management companies the funds to get the works completed. “The management companies are not qualified to see projects of this scale through as we asked our management company of a breakdown of the €15.9 million to fix our building and they refused to share it with us.
“They are estimating up to 100,000 apartments and duplexs will be affected by fire issues and water ingress all just down to cowboy builders poor workmanship and no inspections, self-regulation and certification.
“Long-term going forward nobody is going to be able to sell these apartments for 7/8 years so everyone is stuck where they are.
“It isn’t a nice feeling for people going into Christmas knowing that.
“We urge people in developments to come and join our Not Our Fault campaign as the only way we can win this fight is with numbers and pressure on the government and help from the media of whom we are truly grateful for all the support and help we have got to date from them.
“We are trying to let people know that they are not alone and even people who have paid levies we want them to get in touch with us as we can give advice and support on what to do and where to go next in all this.”