Fianna Fáil Senator Niall Blaney said new rates will be announced for the enhanced defective blocks scheme next year.
The Donegal Senator has backed the scheme which will come into play next year, saying the rates “can only improve” as they take inflation costs into account.
“The Mica Redress Scheme is essential and as a party we took responsibility to fix the many omissions/deficiencies, we are determined to make good on that,” Senator Blaney said.
The politician faced heavy criticism recently for saying that “the mica scheme is good and the people of Donegal want it” and that it was being blocked by Sinn Féin.
The Mica Action Group has expressed their anger over Senator Blaney’s remarks, which they described as “gross misrepresentation” of the defective concrete homes campaign. Campaigners wrote to Mr Blaney seeking an apology.
Yesterday, Senator Blaney said: “I am very aware of the distress for families whose homes have mica and the impact on their extended family members throughout our county. It is essential that these families receive the redress and support that they require to return their homes to places of joy and peace and not the source of distress that they have become.”
He also welcomed the provision immediate practical supports to families, such as the upcoming rent support which Donegal County Council is awaiting the release of today.
Senator Blaney continued: “My aim is to work as hard as I can to ensure that the Mica Redress scheme is rolled out and commenced as quickly as possible and families are supported to access and avail of it. This has always been my aim and I will continue to support this essential work in every way I can and will continue to convey the urgency along with colleagues to Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Government. I have been informed that the Minister has ordered that up to 60 homes with MICA will have their foundations tested and the results will help inform the review of IS465 which will be completed later next year. This is important work and the implementation of a regulator to oversee standards in our quarries is something we all want in place as a matter of urgency.
“Any family who cannot avail of rental accommodation need to know that alternatives will be available and we are actively engaging with Donegal County Council and the Department to find solutions. If I can be of assistance to anyone or any family seeking to avail of assistance, I will help in every way I can. The work that the Council will undertake to deliver this scheme is essential and I will support this in every way I can. Families require and deserve the peace of mind of knowing that everything and everyone is in place to support the redress of their family homes and I will continue to support this.”