Council to write to Minister over sliding scale

DONEGAL County Council are sending a letter to the Housing Minister calling for the removal of the ‘unachievable’ sliding scale.
Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Jack Murray suspended standing orders at Monday’s reconvened Council meeting to give members a chance to have their say on the newly revised mica redress scheme.
Mr Murray said the ‘devil was in the detail’ of the scheme and he suggested the Council write to Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to express their disappointment over the sliding scale and ask for its removal.
Cllr Murray said last Tuesday was a day the whole county was waiting on but the sliding scale came as ‘body blow’ and it is far from 100 per cent redress, leaving an ‘unachievable short fall’ of €65,000 for homeowners.
Majority of councillors on the meeting reiterated the call for the removal of the sliding scale which will see homeowners paying out thousands of euro despite the government saying it was 100 per cent redress.
Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher said the Council has always looked for 100 per cent redress for homeowners in the county while Cllr Gary Doherty said the scale was ‘disappointing in the extreme’.
Cllr Frank McBrearty said he believes it will cost between €180 to €200 per square foot to rebuild mica homes and on the current scale, homeowners are only getting 47 per cent and added that the revised scheme is ‘worse than the first scheme.’
Cllr Martin McDermott, Chair of the Council’s Mica Redress Committee, said the group will be seeking a meeting with the Minister and department officials to discuss the details of the scheme.
He added that the council needs a ‘clear indication’ from the department about what the Council’s role will be going forward within the scheme and he hopes to make progress in the coming weeks.
“There are a lot of things that are a lot better than the previous scheme but it is vitally important to get clear detail on all aspects of the scheme,” said Cllr McDermott.
“We are clearly asking that the government and ministers sort out the issues with the sliding scale.
“We are now only a few weeks away from Christmas and people need hope and clarity on the future of their homes.
“We are very close to getting a good scheme for the people of the county and people need to know what their future will be,” said Cllr McDermott.

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