16 May 2022

Building Boom: Kildare senator says grants should rise in line with material costs


Building Boom: Kildare senator says construction grants should rise in line with material costs

Building costs have risen, affecting many in County Kildare

Construction grants paid to people by Kildare County Council or through government departments must be increased.

These include grants paid for refurbishments, retrofitting or actual construction.

Senator Fiona O’Loughlin said this is necessary to cover a spike in the price of building materials.

Sen Fiona O'Loughlin

"It was reported at the beginning of the summer that the overall cost of constructing a home had increased by up to 30%. “The cost of procuring certain materials has absolutely skyrocketed. The cost of timber has risen by 30% while the price of sand and gravel rose by 22% in the year. PVC pipes and fittings cost an average of 10.5% more than they did last summer.”

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Sen O’Loughlin added: “All of this has a direct impact on the cost of construction for the builder and ultimately the consumer. “This is having a particularly negative impact on those who are relying on grants to complete works. I have been contacted by people who have been struggling to get works completed within the budget offered by certain grants”

She said this is not only affecting large construction projects, or refurbishments -  it is also hitting those who are receiving Council grants for essential maintenance and repairs. 

“The grant amount in many cases, is simply not enough to carry out the repairs. If we are offering grants to applicants who meet the eligibility criteria, then the value needs to be sufficient to complete the works.”

Sh believes that the cost of construction and the value of grants being offered are now drastically out of sync and “we need to see the value of these grants keeping pace with the cost of completing the works.”

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