The demolition of a semi-detached home in Buncrana has laid bare the nonsensical structure of the mica scheme, Donegal TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn has said.
The crumbling home of Paula Doherty at Heather Park, Buncrana was demolished this week.
However, the house attached to it remains standing as it failed to qualify for the defective blocks scheme.
The bizarre sight has been discussed widely this week as homeowners continue to wait for an updated redress scheme.
Sinn Féin TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn said the particulars of the scheme amount to ‘cruelty’ for homeowners.
Commenting on the Heather Park houses, he said: “What should be happening is that both of those properties should be getting demolished at the same time and rebuilt. But instead, this crazy scheme is forcing families to demolish their semi-detached house with huge additional cost. It makes no economic sense.”
Speaking on the Late Debate on RTE Radio 1 this week, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “The way to do this scheme is for the housing agency to run this scheme from start to finish, with 100% redress, to take blocks out of two semi-detached homes at a time and put it out for tender, saying ‘here are 10, 15, or 20 homes that have to be rebuilt, give us your price’. That is how you get value for money for the taxpayer and it’s not cruel. Right now we are forcing families to try and find tens of thousands of a gap. One family I spoke to had to find €100,000. This is just cruelty, year after year.”
Deputy Mac Lochlainn engaged in a debate with Fianna Fáil Senator Niall Blaney, who said the enhanced scheme is “weeks off”.
“It was put back by two weeks at the request of the two county councils. It’s my understanding is that before April is out, that it will be up and running,” Senator Blaney said.
“It’s going through a process of engagement with homeowners at the moment.”
Senator Blaney added that IS-465 review is also taking place and the science is going to dictate if foundations will be included in the enhanced scheme.
The full debate is available to listen to here: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22232681/