CITY HALL is to spend €4.4m on repairs to address a housing maintenance “crisis” that has been described as “embarrassing.”
Cork City Council’s housing directorate has committed to installing 150 central heating units, 473 new sets of windows and doors and to carry out roof repairs on 50 council-owned units where structural issues have been identified. Last year, the council rubber-stamped a loan from the Housing Finance Agency to deal with housing issues in 34 city estates encompassing 1,200 homes and benefitting 4,600 council tenants.
Councillor Seán Martin said housing maintenance costs have been spiralling because of delays in addressing issues for residents in some cases.
“It’s a crisis. Last year we had a housing maintenance crisis and we looked at taking down a loan to deal with it. Something had to be done because the housing stock was getting worse and worse. We took down an €11m loan and we are tackling boilers, windows and doors and roofs.
“Every councillor will tell you, it’s embarrassing as a local representative. We are going out and logging issues and then nothing is happening for ages. I had one particular council resident who had water pouring into his bedroom. That was sorted but that kind of thing is off the wall. Because of delays, a problem that should cost €5,000 to rectify ends up costing over €20,000 because we are not getting to the job quick enough.
“These works have started now and they are working in tandem with an energy efficiency retrofit programme that we began last year in Ballyphehane area,” he added.
City Council director of housing Brian Geaney said: “The estimated costs including engineering design, certification, supervision, temporary works, contract costs including health and safety, insurance requirement and taxes is in the order of €4,400,000. Due to the commercial sensitivity of ongoing procurement processes, it is not proposed to give a further breakdown of these costs.”
Mr Martin also said in the region of €1.4m will also be spent on a survey of social housing stock to assess the state of the Council’s stock.