Less than 1% council housing stock vacant
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.