Mica: New scheme could include cap of €400,000 per home

The scheme for homes built with bricks now cracking and crumbling due to the presence of mica is set to go to Cabinet the week after next
Mica: New scheme could include cap of €400,000 per home

A cap of up to €400,000 per home under an enhanced scheme for those affected by the mica crisis is under discussion.

The scheme for homes built with bricks now cracking and crumbling due to the presence of mica, a mineral that can absorb water, is set to go to Cabinet the week after next, according to The Irish Times.

Sources have said two of the remaining major sticking points in negotiations are the size of the cap on works and the inclusion of rental properties in the scheme.

The likely cost of rebuilding or repairing affected homes is growing rapidly as further problems emerge in Clare, Limerick and Sligo after first surfacing in Donegal and Mayo.

Cap

Under discussion is a cap of about €400,000 but there are differences of opinion in Government about whether it should be more generous than that or closer to €350,000 instead.

Officials are also understood to be concerned that including rental properties could significantly widen the scheme and impact on the overall cost.

There is also some concern surrounding ancillary costs, with homeowners having highlighted the cost of testing and engineers reports at up to €15,000.

While homeowners have also said that the cost of paying for rent while their home is being repaired is coming in at €15,000 to €18,000, it is understood a figure of €10,000 is currently under discussion for this specific aspect.

Including the cost of connecting and disconnecting from utilities such as electricity and broadband, homeowners believe that about €40,000 will be needed overall for ancillary costs. A figure under discussion, however, is about €25,000 for such costs.

The details of an industry levy to co-fund the cost of the scheme are also still being worked on.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has said that he plans to “pursue and identify those who have been found to have been responsible” for the mica problem, and has held discussions with Attorney General Paul Gallagher.

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