Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien TD has received Government approval for the new enhanced Mica scheme.
The expanded €2.7billion scheme is to be extended to counties Limerick and Clare.
Minister O’Brien said the general scheme reflects the decisions made by Government in November 2021 and represents significant progress. Key features of the General Scheme include:
- Provision for 100% grants subject to an overall maximum grant of €420,000 per dwelling
- Grant rates in keeping with the construction cost report prepared by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland
- A Government guarantee in regard to remediation works other than full demolition and rebuild (Options 2-5) through eligibility for a second grant if required for a period of 40 years
- A revised application process which removes the financial barrier to scheme entry which will only require the homeowner to submit an initial ‘Building Condition Assessment’ at minimal cost recoupable on entry to the Scheme
- The introduction of an independent appeals process for applicants with all key decisions under the scheme appealable by homeowners
- Alternative accommodation and storage costs and immediate repair works to a maximum value of €25,000 within the overall grant cap
- The Housing Agency playing a key role under the enhanced scheme by taking on the financial cost of testing and assessing homes and determining on behalf of the local authorities the appropriate remediation option and grant rate for each dwelling
- The extension of the enhanced scheme beyond the current scope of Principle Private Residences only, to also cover rented dwellings registered with the RTB on or before the 1 November 2021
- Inclusion of Clare and Limerick in the enhanced scheme upon commencement
- Exempt development status under planning legislation for remediation works carried out under the defective concrete blocks grant scheme on a like for like basis
Minister O’Brien acknowledged the affected homeowners and thanked them for their involvement in the process over the last twelve months in particular saying, “Since establishing the working group in June 2021, affected homeowners have put a significant amount of time and effort into working with my Department through the homeowner liaison officer John O’Connor, on the development of the enhanced scheme. I am satisfied that the enhanced scheme will represent a significant step forward in having a fit for purpose grant scheme which will help homeowners rebuild their homes and their lives.”
Minister O’Brien went on to thank his Government colleagues and the Attorney General for their support for the enhanced scheme, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) for their work on the construction cost report, the Expert Group chaired by Mr. Paul Forde, for their expert advice on a significant number of technical issues, John O’Connor, homeowner liaison officer and the Housing Agency for agreeing to take on a key role under the enhanced scheme.
“I have consistently said the State has a moral obligation to assist affected homeowners and that is what we are doing through this enhanced scheme,” he concluded.