Up to 4,800 homes in Donegal are believed to have been affected by defective blocks caused by the existence of muscovite mica
The government grant scheme set up to help thousands of Donegal homeowners affected by defective blocks will be open for applications from Monday morning.
The announcement of the opening of the scheme was made today at Donegal County Council’s Mica Address Committee.
Up to 4,800 homes in Donegal are believed to have been affected by defective blocks caused by the existence of muscovite mica.
A government redress scheme was announced after a campaign by the Mica Action Group which represents about 1,500 households in Donegal affected by the issue.
The €40m scheme for households in Donegal and Mayo was announced in January.
Applications will be open on Monday, June 29 and can be made at www.donegalcoco.ie/defectiveconcreteblocks/
Chair of the committee Cllr Martin McDermott said he was delighted the scheme has formally been given a starting date describing it as “a momentous day for the county”.
He thanked the Mica Action Group for their work. “Without them, we probably would not be here today,” he said.
“This is a very important day for Donegal and the homeowners who have been suffering for a long number of years.”
Councillors expressed concern that some works including the replacement of windows, doors and kitchen units and issues with foundations would not qualify for grants.
Guidelines for the scheme were issued to the council on May 29. Details of the three-stage application process were outlined by the council’s senior executive officer Patsy Lafferty.
He said the council will be able to facilitate staged payments throughout the course of remedial works.
Director of Services Joe Peoples said a very significant amount of time and effort had gone into the issue over the last 12 months.
He said the council is very proud to be able to help people who need help.
Responding to queries from councillors, he said the regulations are set in stone but the guidelines are open to interpretation. He said there would be an opportunity to engage with the department on issues.
“We will be minded to continue to engage with the department as the unforeseen issues arise.
“We will deal with cases as they emerge on an ongoing basis,” he said.
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