Local Fianna Fáil Election candidate for the Shannon MD David Griffin has written to the Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Older Persons, Mary Butler TD on behalf of affected pyrite homeowners to seek clarity on their access the fair deal scheme. 

The Newmarket native said he has been seeking clarity through the HSE for some time and is struggling to get a clear answer on how local people affected by pyrite will be treated under the Nursing Home Support Scheme.

Griffin said “I have been closely following the development of defective concrete block scheme and the eventual admittance of Clare to the scheme, as unfortunately my own family home in Ballycalla is affected, as are a number of homes in the Newmarket-on-Fergus/Shannon area.”

“To find out your home is affected by pyrite is a devastating blow, and I know in my own house and in homes of people I speak to, that the anxiety, worry and fear is palpable. Many of the affected homes were constructed using defective blocks decades ago, and there are a number of older people in our area that are now affected.”

“At later stages in life, especially if you are retired your ability to seek credit, to get loans or access finances can be limited due to a perceived lack of earning power. People are worried enough about the potential demolition of their homes- when will it happen, where will they go if it does- without having this additional uncertainty.”

“For some people, not just in Clare but around the country this is an issue that they need clarity on in the very near future. I have been trying to get clarity behind the scenes and arrange for a parliamentary question to be raised by a colleague, and the HSE response said:

‘Each case is assessed on the basis of the particular circumstances of the application….

In respect of the valuation of property, it is necessary for the NHSS applicant to provide a current valuation from a registered auctioneer or valuer for each property.’”

“The reality for many homeowners, is that their properties are perceived as worthless, and even if a valuation is given to gain access to the scheme, selling the house afterwards to settle up with the fair deal scheme will be hugely challenging.”

In conclusion “Ensuring appropriate care for our older citizens is hugely important. These people have worked their entire lives and have found themselves in this situation through no fault of their own, and I am seeking clarity as to how they can be ensured access to a fair deal arrangement both now and after remediation.”

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