Schemes for houses affected by pyrite or mica
Mica and pyrite are minerals found in the ground and in rocks that are excavated from quarries and used in building blocks. These minerals cause defects in building blocks, which lead to cracks and other problems in buildings and homes constructed with the defective blocks.
Mica was mainly found in quarries in the North West of Ireland and some properties in this area are affected by it. Pyrite caused similar problems in buildings in the East of Ireland.
There are schemes in place to repair or rebuild homes that have been affected by mica or pyrite.
Mica redress scheme
The Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme provides financial support to homeowners whose properties have been damaged due to the use of concrete blocks that contain excessive amounts of mica or pyrite.
The scheme provides a grant for 90% of the work up to a maximum of €247,500 if you have to completely re-build your home. The scheme is currently available in Donegal and Mayo.
You apply for the scheme through Donegal County Council or Mayo County Council depending on where you live. These local authorities have information on their websites about how the scheme works and can advise you about the process.
The rules for this scheme are set-out in regulations, which were amended in 2022 to improve the application process and allow for essential immediate repair work.
An enhanced scheme was announced on 30 November 2021, but this is not available yet. The Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Act 2022 needs to be commenced for the enhanced scheme to take effect.
The new scheme will include:
- A maximum grant for 100% of the work
- A cap on the demolition and rebuild option of €420,000
- A different way of calculating the grant based on cost per square foot of rebuilding the home
- An independent appeals process
The enhanced scheme will also be extended to Clare and Limerick.
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has published detailed FAQs on the revised scheme. These give further information on how to qualify, the process involved and how to apply.
Defective Concrete Products Levy
A Defective Concrete Products Levy was announced in Budget 2023. This will be a 5% levy on concrete blocks, pouring concrete and other concrete products. The levy will apply from 1 September 2023 and will help pay for the Defective Concrete Blocks Redress Scheme.
Pyrite remediation scheme
The Pyrite Remediation Scheme remediates properties significantly damaged by pyrite. The Scheme is managed by the Pyrite Resolution Board who manage the application and appeals process.
If your home has been affected by pyrite, this scheme will cover 100% of the costs involved in repairing your property.
The Housing Agency has published detailed information and FAQs about the scheme where you can find information about properties that qualify for the scheme and how to apply.