The Government has pledged €20million for a Mica and Pyrite repair scheme for homes in Donegal and Mayo.
Homeowners will have to pay 10% of the cost of repairs under the special scheme which was announced today.
The Government is to pay 90% of the cost of repairing homes affected by defective concrete blocks, which means that homeowners could have to contribute thousands of euro to complete the works.
Plans for the long-awaited special scheme were confirmed during a top-level meeting and are expected to be brought before Donegal County Council next week.
It is estimated at as many as 4,800 dwellings in Donegal and 345 homes in Mayo are affected by Mica-defective blocks.
Homeowners waited anxiously for details of a repair scheme following the Government’s commitment in October 2018 to repair properties impacted by the issue.
Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh and Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said that the worst-hit homes will be fixed first as the €20million repair scheme is rolled out.
Ministers McHugh and Ring met with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Eoghan Murphy today to lay out the plans for the scheme. The exceptional nature of the problem and special measures which are required to address it were taken into account before plans were agreed.
The Mica/Pyrite scheme will be financed from central Government over a number of years through the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and administered and operated at a local authority level in Donegal and Mayo.
Experts on the scheme from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will travel to Donegal next week for discussions with the County Council to advise on any remaining preparations for the roll out of the scheme.
“Government agreement for the scheme is about protecting people in their homes,” Minister McHugh said.
“It is about ensuring people feel secure and safe in the place where they have set down roots, where they are building a life, rearing a family and planning for their futures.”
Minister Ring said: “The scheme is an exceptional measure in response to an exceptional need. Some homeowners are in dire straits. And this is the confirmation that these people need that the Government is to pay 90% of the cost of repairing affected homes.”
Minister McHugh paid tribute to the many families who have been living through the Mica crisis every day for many years. Mc Hugh said: “It has been a long road for the many families living with this scandal and we hope now that this scheme gives them some peace of mind.
“I want to acknowledge the work of the Mica Action Group and in particular Eileen Doherty and Ann Owens and other members who have shared their stories and opened their doors to explain the conditions they are living in. The people affected by this have shown immense patience, determination and fortitude in working with us to secure this resolution.”
Mr McHugh added: “The person who first brought this crisis to Government attention was Donegal Fine Gael councillor Bernard McGuinness. Senator Paudie Coffey was also instrumental in pursuing this when he set up the expert group to investigate Mica issues in Donegal and Mayo and Minister of State Damien English has been a constant support.”