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Housing Committee: the National Oversight and Audit Commission

The Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage heard from the National Oversight and Audit Commission this week. I had the opportunity to raise important questions surrounding housing standards and inspection procedures. The full transcript can be read below.

Thank you Chair.

And I would like to thank NOAC for the update and for you coming in today.

I sat on SDCC’s Audit Committee and currently sit on the Oireachtas Audit Committee. I believe they are important forums, where democratic governance oversight takes place.

I have 2 questions based on your update, you have covered some of the answers, however I have some specifics.

Firstly on Inspections:

While our focus in the midst of this housing crisis is to increase output, we need to ensure existing housing stock meets quality standards. I believe we can all agree it is unacceptable that in 2021 over 90% of inspected dwellings by 23 local authorities were found to be non-compliant with the Standards’ Regulations.

So it’s clear we have a serious issue with housing quality standards, so my question is:

Has NOAC looked into the feasibility of an independent inspection body like HIQA instead of Local Authorities, who are overstretched?

And from your data do the Local Authorities have sufficient resources and staffing to undertake inspections?

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