Self-builders launch nationwide campaign: BC(A)R SI.9
by Bregs Blog admin team
This week the representative body for self builders (IAOSB) launched a nationwide campaign to lobby all local representatives. The letter template is on their site (extract below) which is being sent by members to TD’s and representatives nationally. We wonder will any other disenfranchised group do the same and start banging on TD’s doors? With less than 100 days to go before the elections this may be an interesting route to progress the debate for many who are adversely affected by Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2104) and will be soon suffering it’s unintended consequences. Extract below:
Take Action, Stand up for your rights and support the Campaign
Building Control (Amendment) Regulation S.I 9 of 2014
We at Irish Association of Self Builders will make every effort possible to support and stand up for your rights. However, the following are some of the further options that are available to you to support the campaign for the revision of Amendment S.I 9 of 2014.Your Local Government Representative
Please add you name to this letter and send it to all your local T.D’s followed by a phone call to see what has been done about it.
Contact details for your local T.D’s:
Get in touch with your Local and National Newspapers, Radio Stations, TV Station. Make sure that they understand the effect Building Control (Amendment) S.I 9 of 2014 will have on you and your family.
Dear TD xx,
Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulation S.I 9 of 2014
I am making this complaint as a self-builder and citizen of Ireland. I strongly fee my rights as an Irish and European citizen are being infringed upon with recent legislation. When the Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014) comes into force on 1st March 2014 I will no longer be able to act as a Builder on my own house, co-ordinating other sub-contractors on the build. As this legislation requires an established builder, someone with at least 3 years similar building experience to undertake this role, the attendant costs of employing a main contractor will mean that I will not be able to undertake to build my own house. Contrary to numerous written statements by Minister Phil Hogan recent legal advice obtained by the representative body for self-builders the Irish Association of Self-Builders (IASOB) has confirmed that self-building, or undertaking the role of main contractor on dwellings, will no longer be possible under the new legislation.
The tradition of building one’s own home has been established in Ireland for generations. Acting as a co-ordinating main contractor an owner can make considerable savings on build costs allowing many the only opportunity to own a house. Self-built houses frequently are more cost- effective to build to a higher specification than many speculatively built offerings. The additional cost to build this using normal procurement methods would be over 12% more than if I was to adopt the role of main contractor myself. I will not be able to afford to commence building my own house as a result.
I believe the current legislation restricts my right as a European Citizen. A voluntary register of contractors under the control of a private company, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has been created to facilitate SI.9. The government specifically mentions this voluntary register (CIRI) in SI.9 and it is planned to introduce primary legislation to put this on a statutory footing. The completion certificate for the “Builder” in SI.9 states the builder’s completion certificate “must be signed by the director or principal of a building company only”. In effect this precludes owners such as myself from undertaking this role.
The representative body for self-builders the IAOSB have indicated approximately 17% of all housing starts may be abandoned due to the increased costs of buildings created by SI.9 on self-builders. We are the silent majority here with industry estimates of over 60% of all housing completed nationwide being self-built dwellings. This year the IAOSB suggest almost 1800 self-built house projects will be abandoned as a direct result of BC(A)R SI.9.
The structure of self-certification and codified roles inherent in SI.9 is defective and interferes with my rights as a European citizen to provide shelter in a cost-effective manner for my family. Elsewhere in the EU, the normal arrangement is a system of independent local authority inspections; in the UK there are a system of independent inspections and Independent regulation of the construction industry. Under this system I can operate as a builder and “self-build” domestic projects. There is no question that any self-builds in the UK or elsewhere in the EU are in some way deficient or less compliant than other forms of procurement. Self-building is a valid and essential way for citizens to undertake cost-effective construction of their own houses in a financially friendly way. The existing reinforced system in Ireland of self-certification and codified roles inherent in SI.9 is defective and interferes with my rights as a European Citizen to provide shelter in a cost-effective manner for my family.
For persons such as myself undertaking self-builds after 1st March the legal advice obtained by the IAOSB indicates we will be non-compliant, and as such will not be able to have our completion documentation validated by Local Authorities. As there is no mechanism in the regulation to obtain this local authority validation retrospectively this suggests self-builds, commenced after 1st March 2014,may encounter conveyancing issues and re-financing problems later on. This situation is of grave concern.
The current form of SI.9 and the proposed register of builders ends this tradition and infringes on the rights of Irish and EU citizens. I deserve better treatment by my government. I will not be able to afford to commence building my own house as a result of Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). I should to have the right to build my own home and provide for my family.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Members Database 1919 – 2014 – Houses of the Oireachtas – Tithe an Oireachtais
Link to IAOSB site: Take Action, Join the Campaign and stand Up for your rights: http://www.iaosb.com/take action, join the campaign and stand up for your rights.html