By Keith Bourke
A public information event on the long-awaited Pyrite/Mica Remediaton Scheme takes place in Belmullet later this week.
The regulations have been signed by the Government with Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Pascal Donohue and the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy signing a statutory instrument regulating the new grant scheme.
Details of how it will work in practice were given to the Mica Action Group in Donegal last week. Hundreds of Mayo homes, primarily in Erris, have been affected by the presence of pyrite in the blockwork while thousands of Donegal dwellings have suffered damage to Mica.
Under the grant scheme, the owners of principal private dwellings can apply to Mayo County Council or Donegal County Council for a grant, with an engineer’s report of the damage to their home. The local authorities assess and approve the maximum grant amount and after the works are complete and certified, the grant is paid.
The scheme, as outlined to the Mica Action Group, allows for five different rebuild options, depending on the remedial options recommended in the engineer’s report.
Under the ‘Financial Assistance Scheme for Remediation of Damaged Dwellings due to the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks’ scheme, homes with the lowest level of assessed damage will be grant-aided to demolish and rebuild the outer leaf of affected walls at a cost of up to €55,000 or up to €75,000 per home, depending on the damage.
Homes that require demolition and rebuilding of external walls, including both outer and inner leafs (or walls), will be granted a maximum of €210,000, or €220,000 if demolition needs to be down to the foundation.
Where the entire house has to be demolished to its foundation and rebuilt, the grant will be €275,000.
Homeowners will be expected to pay 10% of the cost, with 90% coming from state funds.
A public information event for homeowners will take place in the Offices of Mayo County Council in Belmullet Civic Centre, Church Road, Belmullet on Thursday next, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. The meeting could be an emotive affair with some householders concerned that they may not be in a position to avail of the funding.