Donegal Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for Housing to carry out an urgent review of the financial assistance offered under the Mica Defective Blocks Grant Scheme.
Deputy MacLochlainn based his call on the applications received to date by Donegal County Council and the serious concerns of affected families across the county.
He also called on Minister Darragh Minister O’ Brien, along with the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohue, to convene a forum meeting with the banks and financial institutions to request that they immediately play a partnership role with the State and affected families in the financial challenge of making homes safe across Donegal.
“The evidence across Donegal in recent months is that this grant scheme falls far short of the real financial assistance that the affected families need to make their homes safe, Deputy MacLochlainn said.
“Families are receiving prices for the demolition and rebuild of their homes or the replacement of the outer leaves of their homes that is well in excess of the maximum financial assistance under the scheme.”
“Most of these families already have a mortgage to be repaid and they have told me that this is like adding a second mortgage and locking them into long years ahead of repaying debt. I am therefore calling on the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’ Brien, to carry out an urgent review of the financial assistance offered by the State.”
He concluded: “It is astonishing that despite repeated representations from myself and Deputy Pearse Doherty, the two Ministers have not done so already. The banks and financial institutions are having their assets restored from site value to full market value. We are talking about tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions in gains here for the banks and they need to step up and properly assist the families and the State with this huge financial challenge”.