The Mica Action Group has called on all of Donegal’s elected representatives to state whether they back the enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks scheme.
The group issued letters to each TD, Senator and councillor this week seeking their clear position on the revised scheme.
Affected homeowners are seeking official support as they call for Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to attend a meeting in Donegal. Confusion continues to surround the particulars of the scheme, as evidenced by the large numbers of people who turned out for an information session last week.
Professional bodies such as Engineers Ireland have also underlined issues with the scheme, according to MAG.
MAG Chair Lisa Hone states, “Now the revised scheme is finalised and published in black and white, it is important that those impacted and the county in general understand the clear position of all our public representatives towards the scheme.
“Affected homeowners are raising serious concerns, particularly around the science, finances, insurance, how homeowners in vulnerable or complex situations will access the scheme and the on-going lack of alternative accommodation. It is not unreasonable for impacted homeowners to ask the Minister, officials and advisors to attend a public meeting to stand over the scheme they wrote, to those who have to use it. It is vital that all Donegal public representatives support affected homeowners in this call and do everything in their power to realise it.”
The letters ask three yes/no questions:
- Do you believe the DCB scheme as it stands is fit for purpose?
- Do you believe that the DCB scheme as it stands will ensure “the vast majority of those who need help will get all the financial assistance they need”? (Mr Feargal O’Coigligh, Asst. Secretary, Dept. of Housing 13.07.23)
- Do you believe that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Dept. of Housing officials and advisors responsible for the design and writing of the scheme should attend a public meeting in Donegal with impacted homeowners to address their concerns and questions?
Ms Hone said that public representatives’ responses will be published in due course.
She added: “Strong statements have been made by Government officials within the last few weeks, such as the “the vast majority of those who need help will get all the financial assistance they need”?
“This statement does not match the experience of homeowners we are speaking to. The Dept of Housing need to evidence such a statement with facts, figures and real-life examples. If they cannot back up the statement factually, it should be publicly retracted, as it is on record and misleading to the Housing Committee, Oireachtas and general public.”