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Government expands mica scheme to include homeowners in Clare and Limerick

The estimated cost of the scheme now stands at €2.7 billion.

Campaigner Paddy Diver and his daughter Savannah protesting outside the Custom House in Dublin last year.
Campaigner Paddy Diver and his daughter Savannah protesting outside the Custom House in Dublin last year.
Image: Leah Farrell

Updated Jun 14th 2022, 3:00 PM

CABINET HAS SIGNED off on the mica grant scheme and has extended it to include homeowners in Clare and Limerick.

The estimated cost of the scheme, which is designed to help homeowners whose houses were damaged by the presence of mica in their concrete blocks, now stands at €2.7 billion.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said the total grant amount per home will be capped at €420,000 as previously announced. 

He said grant rates will be in keeping with a construction cost report prepared by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland earlier this year. This report put the average rebuild costs per square metre at between €1,561 and €1.701, depending on the size and type of property. 

Campaigners had criticised the government’s previous sliding-scale, stating this would still result in costs that homeowners could meet. They had also pointed out that an assessment and report by an engineer, which was required for the initial application, was a barrier for many homeowners as it cost around €7,000.

The Department of Housing said today a revised application process will be put in place “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 scheme will include alternative accommodation and storage costs and immediate repair works to a maximum value of €25,000 within the overall grant cap. The department said the scheme will be extended to cover rented dwellings registered with the Residential Tenancies Board on or before 1 November 2021. 

Minister O’Brien thanked affected homeowners for their involvement in the process over the last 12 months, stating that they had spent a significant amount of time and effort working with his department. 

“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,” he said.

Speaking on Morning Ireland before the Cabinet meeting, campaigner Paddy Diver said that the Government needs to get this scheme right.

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“We want to move on with the scheme and get it right,” said Diver.

“We’re worried here for marriages and children and everything. We really need the government to get it right this time.”

When asked what campaigners were waiting to see from the Cabinet, Diver said that they wanted to know when the scheme would begin to be rolled out.

“It’s the rollout of the scheme, when is it actually going to get rolling out, rolling out right.”

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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