Concern has been expressed over the multi-million euro redress scheme to fix defective building blocks in Donegal.
The scheme remains closed a full year after it was approved by the Government.
Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week programme, MAG spokesperson Eileen Doherty said that the group was “disappointed” the scheme had remained closed, while the Department of Housing and Donegal County Council continue discussions around how it will operate.
She said there were in excess of 5,000 affected homeowners, most of whom are located in Donegal.
She said they cannot wait much longer for financial aid; and that the price for waiting to open the scheme would be further deterioration in the homes and a greater cost to the taxpayer and homeowners to fix them.
Mica was contained in bricks sold for many years; but it is entirely unsuitable for construction blocks. The homeowners were promised by Government last October that they could avail of a redress scheme, after exhausting other legal and insurance options.
Homeowner Christina Crumlish, who lives in a Mica-affected home (below) at Sheskin near Donegal’s Malin Head, said that the longer it takes for the scheme to open, the worse the homes are getting. Major cracks that emerged in the exterior leaf of her home a decade ago have now spread indoors.
Letterkenny-based engineer Damien McKay, who was appointed to train a panel of engineers to asses the homes as part of the long-awaited scheme, told RTÉ that a further delay would add to the costs.
He said that homes currently classed as ‘category 3’ homes could worsen and be classed as ‘category 4’ meaning the cost of remedial work may double, with a full demolition and rebuild being needed in worst cases.
The Department of Housing and Donegal County Council said they are continuing to discuss details of the scheme and are working on getting it up and running.
No details about how the scheme will operate have been formally published, but Ms Doherty told RTÉ that the Department told them in a recent oral briefing that homeowners would have to pay at least 10% of the costs, and no alternative accommodation or warehousing costs were to be covered via the scheme.