Less than 1% coun­cil hous­ing stock va­cant

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Rob McNa­mara

Less than 1% of Cork County Coun­cil’s hous­ing stock of 7,511 lies va­cant af­ter it re­duced its num­ber of va­cant prop­er­ties by more than 50% within 10 months.

With just 74 prop­er­ties in need of re­fur­bish­ment, Cllr Sea­mus McGrath said the fig­ures rep­re­sent good progress.

But he urged of­fi­cials: “We need to turn around houses and va­cant units in a much more timely man­ner.

“It is go­ing in the right di­rec­tion but I’m not for a sec­ond sug­gest­ing there is no room for more im­prove­ment.”

At the end of 2017, 154 coun­cil-owned prop­er­ties had been va­cant.

The num­ber of so­cial hous­ing homes va­cant for more than six months was also dras­ti­cally re­duced from 84 to 14.

The coun­cil spent an av­er­age of €13,400 re­fur­bish­ing its prop­er­ties, less than half of the City Coun­cil ex­pen­di­ture.

Cllr McGrath called on of­fi­cials to re­duce the num­bers of va­cant homes even fur­ther by hav­ing a quicker turn­around time from when ten­ants leave prop­er­ties and new ones move in. “It is def­i­nitely an im­prove­ment and that is very welcome.”

He said county coun­cil­lors will con­tinue to push for im­prove­ment. “We all have in­di­vid­ual cases of va­cant units that have been sit­ting there too long and need to be turned around faster. I can cite sev­eral ex­am­ples my­self.

“Mo­men­tum has to be main­tained so the num­ber of va­cant units is cut right down.

“More im­por­tantly, the key fac­tor is how long it takes from when a house is handed back to the coun­cil to when that is given to a new ten­ant.

“Un­for­tu­nately that ap­pears to be tak­ing on av­er­age six months to hap­pen and that’s too long, we need to con­dense it,” he added.

One prop­erty al­lo­cated last year had been va­cant for three years.

Mean­while, a coun­cil house in Don­ny­brook in Dou­glas has been idle for 10 years. The coun­cil is un­able to se­cure fund­ing due to a €30,000 re­fur­bish­ment cap.

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