Government urged to look at ‘bigger picture’ on mica homes
The Inishowen woman who created the viral video highlighting the devastating impact of mica has urged the government to create ‘a level playing field’ with the redress scheme.
Coreen Robinson from Buncrana created the ‘Homes from Donegal’ video, which has been viewed at least 25,000 times on Facebook and countless times across other media.
‘Mica The Bigger Picture Project 2021,’ shows the shocking and upsetting impact mica has had on properties.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ Coreen told how she was moved to act after being told her own family home will have to be demolished.
“I decided to try and help. There is so much about the scheme, the cracks, money etc., but I wanted to do something to show the people and ‘humanise’ the problem. There are so many who can’t meet the money needed to even get on to the scheme or pay the extra 10% and above. We can’t demonstrate and there are no meetings due to Covid, so we can’t meet as a collective.”
Coreen went online and asked people to send pictures of their mica impacted homes.
She received “100s and 100s, as well as some really upsetting emails from people who told how they can’t afford to fix their home.”
Coreen created the video and has been left ‘dumbfounded’ by the reaction. She said while the Mica Action Group has to be commended for their ‘brilliant’ work in getting the scheme to pass, the government must look at the message of the video and create a ‘level playing field for all.’ Coreen, who urged homeowners to contact their elected representatives, told how many people’s circumstances have changed during the pandemic and they’re now receiving Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Others have seen their circumstances change since they got their mortgage. Many do not have the E6000 euro to get a block sample and get on to the scheme, as well as pay a mortgage, property tax and other bills. Added to this, if they do manage to avail of the scheme, they will have to pay costs that include VAT, a mortgage, the costs above the grant cap and finding alternative accommodation.
“The committee has done so much to get us here, but we need a level playing field. It’s very unfair that there are many people who cannot get on to the scheme, which also has too slow of a turnaround at the minute. The government is actually wasting money digging their heels in. At the minute, 20% of the houses tested are being demolished with 80% the outer leaf. The longer it takes people to get the money together, the worse the houses will get.” Follow Mica The Bigger Picture Project 2021 on Facebook
You can watch the video here