Caption: Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said the State is making ‘an extraordinary intervention’
The Cabinet has agreed a new mica redress scheme for homes affected by defective blocks.
The new scheme, which was agreed at a meeting on Tuesday, is offering rebuilding costs of €145 per square foot and a sliding scale for the rest of the square footage of each dwelling.
The change came after mica campaigners rejected a proposed cost of €138 per square foot saying €150 per square foot would be required.
Speaking after the Cabinet meeting Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said the scheme would be enhanced from 90% to 100% redress and increased to a cap of €420,000 from €247,500 for up to 7,500 homes that need to be repaired.
Minister O’Brien said an initial building cost assessment will remove any prohibitive upfront cost and homeowners will no longer have to pay €6,000 to enter the scheme.
The scheme includes accommodation costs of €15,000 and storage costs of €5,000.
There will also be a new independent appeals process and the scheme will be extended beyond principal private properties to include rental properties registered with the Residential Tenancies Board.
The minister said the scheme also includes enhanced mental health supports in affected counties.
The National Standards Authority is to undertake a review of concrete blocks standards.
A levy on the construction industry is to be introduced from 2023 which will see the sector make a contribution to the scheme.
Legislation for the scheme is to be fast-tracked and introduced in the first quarter of next year. A review of industry standards and regulations is to be undertaken by a senior counsel and a building standards regulatory authority is to be established.
The minister said the newly enhanced scheme ensures "absolute parity of approach" between the houses affected by pyrite on the east coast and the homes affected by mica in the north-west.
Mr O'Brien said that through the new scheme the Government is ensuring homeowners can rebuild their homes “but more importantly they can rebuild their lives”.
He said the State is making an extraordinary intervention but it was a moral obligation on the State to make the intervention.
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