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MAG Financial Information Event in Letterkenny 15.01.20

THE Mica Action Group (MAG) have for some time, been engaging with banks and financial institutions in seeking their support for mica affected homeowners. The outcome of this engagement will be aired at a MAG Financial Information Event on February 18th at 7pm in The Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny where all affected homeowners are invited to come along to find out more.
Joe Morgan, MAG committee member, who spearheads the engagement between MAG and the lenders said:
“As we await an imminent announcement on the Mica Redress scheme this month, MAG are acutely aware of the difficulties facing homeowners once this scheme is open. MAG have been reassured by government representatives that even though an election has now been called, we are still on track for opening of the scheme this month.
However, many families will struggle to access the scheme due to the 10% personal contribution requirement. Anxiety levels are extremely high due to the enormity of the task ahead for homeowners to fix their homes. Many families do not have this amount of money and many are unsure how they could go about raising it."
These photographs of defective Mica blocks, from an Inishowen homeowner, show significant deterioration in only one year.
"As such, MAG have invited Senior officials from the key lenders across the county to speak at this event and to tell homeowners what supports they can offer them. We realise that Mica affected homeowners may be those both with and without mortgages. We have asked lenders to consider both of these types of homeowners in their support packages.

MAG have already suggested supports such as:
• 0% interest on any new financing (loans) required to make up the 10% personal contribution
• Adjusted existing mortgage finance throughout the new financing timeframe to facilitate a net neutral household budget (i.e. ensuring existing monthly mortgage repayments are not increased after loan is approved)
• A means tested lender contribution towards the 10% (i.e. proposal for the lender to contribute 5% of this contribution cost).

However, despite strong regional engagement, and excellent initial feedback in the face-to-face meetings, lenders have yet to provide a formal response or announce a support package for affected homeowners.
This event is an opportunity for lenders to inform impacted families what support mechanisms will be in place to help them raise the 10% contribution when the scheme opens. It will be the first opportunity for the major Irish lenders to set out their stall in terms of what they will do to help resolve the crisis.
The situation draws parallels with the financial crash of 2007 when senior representatives of the Irish banks approached senior representative of the Irish taxpayer for assistance. Those same Irish taxpayers are now asking the banks for their assistance.
MAG expect that these requests will be reciprocated with the same positive response received in 2007 as we strongly believe it is both in the banks interest and their corporate social responsibility to respond in such a manner. it is crucially important that we get early indications of lender positions to encourage homeowner engagement in the remedial process.”
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