Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has said that he is "confident" that the €2.7bn redress scheme will help Mica homeowners "get their lives back together".

He said that he is "anxious" that the legislation is passed before the summer.

Mr O'Brien today sought Cabinet approval to publish the legislation on the scheme.

Last week, ministers gave operational effect to the scheme, as well as allowing homes affected by pyrite in counties Clare and Limerick to participate.

Under the plan, there is a potential 100% grant subject to a €420,000 cap, as well as a second cap of €145-161 per square foot.

Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, Mr O'Brien said: "I'm very confident this is the basis for us to be able to move on and to help homeowners get their lives back together, not just their homes but their lives.

"It has been a long process, but I think a very fruitful one, because we're in a much better place now.

"And this is the State stepping in and rightly so where there's been a market failure to the tune of at least €2.7 billion to help about 6,000 to 7,000 homeowners in getting their homes and their lives back together."

Mica has the capacity to absorb water, cause concrete blocks to crumble, and put entire homes at risk of collapse.

It is estimated mica affects more than 7,000 homes, many in Co Donegal and Co Mayo.

Mica redress campaign groups have said that they wanted to see the detail of the legislation before commenting.

However, it is known they have concerns about the caps, and also want another defective mineral, pyrrhotite, to be included in the legislation.

Minister O'Brien said that work is ongoing with Engineers Ireland and some outside scientific assistance to investigate if there is an issue with Pyratite.

He added that if an issue with this compound is identified, the scheme will be amended accordingly.

When asked where affected homeowners will live while repairs works are carried out, Mr O'Brien said that the work would be done on a phased basis.

He said: "All 7,000 homes won't be done obviously in one year.

"This will take a number of years to get this work done. We'll manage through the housing agency with the use of other properties as well."

He said that the scheme will be open to other counties in the future, but most of the damaged homes are in the northwest, Clare and Limerick.

The minister estimated that the scheme will be in existence for ten years.

When asked if he was going to put a levy on the construction industry or the quarries to help pay, the minister said: "I think rightly so, I do, but I just want to be clear that that'll be a decision that myself, the Minister for Finance and, indeed, Cabinet will take as a collective."

Meanwhile, Minister O'Brien has said that he would not debate housing issues with President Michael D Higgins.

It comes a week after President Higgins described housing in Ireland as "our great, great failure".

Mr O'Brien said: "I'm not going to debate issues with the President. I respect him, I respect the office and I respect the long standing tradition between the Government and the President.

"I obviously take on board and respect what the President has said."

The minister said that he is focused on the work he must undertake to tackle the housing crisis and said that "progress is being made".