I propose to take Questions Nos. 45 and 81 together.
An expert panel on concrete blocks was established by my Department in 2016 and its terms of reference were focused on the investigation of the problems that have emerged in the concrete blockwork of certain dwellings in counties Donegal and Mayo. The report of the expert panel was published in 2017 and included eight recommendations, which my Department has been actively progressing with the relevant stakeholders.
In October 2018, the Government approved in principle the development of a grant scheme of financial assistance to support affected homeowners in the counties of Donegal and Mayo to carry out the necessary remediation works to dwellings that have been damaged due to defective concrete blocks. Last month, agreement was reached with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to allocate €20 million to it for 2019. Funding for future years will be agreed annually as part of the normal Estimates process, as we discussed earlier today. The full terms and conditions of the scheme will be finalised over the coming weeks, again in consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
This process will take account of the engagement that my Department is having with both Donegal and Mayo county councils. In this regard, officials from my Department met both local authority teams last week to discuss implementation arrangements for the scheme in both Donegal and Mayo. The meetings were very productive and further engagement will take place over the coming weeks. On completion of this work, it is intended to revert to the Government on the matter.
Ahead of that work being completed, I cannot be definitive on the date on which the scheme will open for applications. However, the aim will be to complete the outstanding work without delay in order to ensure that the scheme can get underway as early as possible in the autumn.
I have a couple of more seconds-----