Can mica affected homes finally get closure?  

The current remediation scheme is not 100 per cent redress for all real costs writes Michael Doherty of the Mica Action Group, and many homes will not last another winter.

The Enhanced Defective Concrete Block Scheme introduced on 30th November 2021 increased the maximum grant amount defective concrete block homeowners would be eligible for.

But it also brought in a sliding scale which undid much of the benefit of increasing the cap. The sliding scale effectively became the primary cap at a cost per sqft rate, which was unworkable.

The SCSI was then brought in to give estimates of what it would cost to rebuild the homes. And with that benchmark, homeowners may get close to the eligible costs. But in reality, homeowners will be out of pocket tens of thousands of euros. That’s because people will want better insulated homes.

They will need wall and floor finishes.

We are told the new enhanced grant scheme will be in place at the earliest this autumn. To avail of these benefits we will have to wait until then although it’s suggested we will be back compensated
for works undertaken in the meantime. We have nothing in writing though, leaving homeowners reluctant to move forward.

There is also the massive issue of IS465, the governing standard, that only recognises the presence of mica or pyrite while in fact we have much more damaging deleterious materials like pyrrhotite that
have been completely ignored in the standard.

The NSAI are being asked to review IS465 but we’re told it could take up to 12 months.

What are we to do with our crumbling homes until then? Things are largely at a standstill. But our homes are not – I heard three individual cracks that popped at the time of writing this piece alone!

Many homes will not last another winter but with the rate of progress or lack of, in administering the scheme, we must endure…

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Michael Doherty

Written by Michael Doherty

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