Mica redress scheme announced with grants to be capped at €420,000
The scheme will cost a total of €2.2 billion.
The Cabinet has agreed on an "enhanced" Mica redress scheme which will see grants capped at €420,000 per home.
Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien announced details of the scheme for homeowners affected in Donegal, Mayo and other counties, whose properties are crumbling due to the use of defective concrete blocks.
The package is to cover an estimated 7,500 homes, 1,000 of which are social homes, and will cost €2.2 billion in total - an increase in €800 million from the existing scheme.
Homeowners affected will be entitled to €145 per square foot on the first 1,000 feet of their property, with the figure then to fall to €110 per square foot.
"It's 100% redress - the current 90% maximum will be increased to 100% for all remediation options one to five," O'Brien explained.
"The maximum grant cap for option one - which is the demolition and rebuild option - will be increased to €420,000 from €247,500.
"The grant calculation methodology will be based on the cost per square foot of rebuilding the existing home with costings to be set by my department in consultation with the Society of Charted Surveyors in Ireland."
O'Brien also said a revised application process will be introduced which will only require the homeowner to submit an initial building control assessment and building condition assessment at "minimal cost recoupable on the entry to the scheme".
"Importantly, this removes any prohibitive upfront costs for entry to the scheme and homeowners are no longer expected to pay approximately €6,000 to actually enter the scheme," O'Brien explained.
The Minister stated that this had been a "barrier for many".
He also said the scheme will be extended beyond the current scope of principal private residents only as it is expected to cover Residential Tenancies Board registered rental properties.
"I fully recognise the toll that this has taken on homeowners," O'Brien added.
"I've spent a lot of time talking and meeting with them over the last number of months and people have really been so badly affected.
"We will be bringing forth enhanced mental health supports and they will be made available to homeowners in affected counties in collaboration with the Department of Health."
The new scheme comes after several thousands of people affected by the Mica scandal marched through Dublin in October to demand a 100% redress compensation scheme from the Government.
Organiser of the protest Paddy Diver called on the government to end the "torture" and "fix the homes".
Main image via Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie