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28/09/2021

Mica-affected houses bought by Council

€600,000 paid for five Buncrana mica-affected houses this year

Mica-affected houses bought by Council

Five mica-affected houses bought by Council

Five mica-affected dwellings in Inishowen have been purchased for social housing by Donegal County Council.

Donegal Live has learned, the five houses in An Crannla estate in Buncrana, in Inishowen tested positive for mica, with a 15% ratio in the blocks.

Despite the council being aware of this, it bought the five houses, at a total price of €600,000.

It is believed council deducted the cost of mica repairs from the original asking price and the funding for the purchase came from the Department of Housing.

It is also understood the council had long-term tenants in the homes and had previously had a 10 year leasing arrangement on them, however this expired in January 2021. The purchase took place earlier this year.

Speaking to Donegal Live, Buncrana councillor Jack Murray said he was surprised to learn that Donegal County Council had purchased houses which contained mica, given the widespread understanding of the risks associated with that problem.

“I am also concerned that €120,000 per house does not seem good value if extensive work is needed.

“For the sake of those living in the houses, I will be seeking assurances that enough funding has been secured to save the houses and the problem will be addressed early enough.

“This is an issue on which all councillors will be seeking an update to, as a matter of urgency,” Cllr Murray said.

At the time of going to print, Donegal Live had not received a reply to its enquiry regarding the purchase of the five houses, from Donegal County Council.

Monday's Plenary Meeting of Donegal County Council was told that no repairs to mica-affected social housing had yet taken place.

Going forward, the cost of social housing mica repairs will come directly from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Social Housing is not covered under the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme (Mica Redress Scheme) currently being administered by Donegal and Mayo County Councils.

Read also: Call for special council meeting on Mica house purchases.

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