A NEW online platform for logging social housing repair requests, where all requests are tracked and visible to both tenant and council staff, is coming available to Cork County Council in March.

At present, once a request is logged, a purchase order is supposed to be made for the repair and a job is allocated to a contractor from the Council framework or allocated to direct repair staff. Tenants are then notified of the expected time frame for their repair request when they contact the council’s contact centre.

In the new system, this information will be available online with a few clicks of a mouse.

Cobh Councillor Diarmuid O’Cadhla welcomed the news that the online system was coming, but questioned how many outstanding repairs were currently on the books.

While the council did not have an answer to this, the council did provide a figure for maintenance during 2018.

€8.5m was spent on maintenance last year, of this €1m was outdoor staff costs and the other €7.5 was spent on non-pay items including contractor costs, boiler maintenance and planned maintenance.

Mr O’Cadhla said that it was commonplace to see black mould on walls and tenants by and large, do not feel they are being heard.

The Councillor urged the council to increase their budget for repair in 2019.

“There needs to be a renewed effort to upgrade these houses,” Mr O’Cadhla said.

The council said in their answer to Mr O’Cadhla that 50 staff are engaged in maintenance operations across administration, engineering and outdoor staff.

The council also explained that repairs are broken into three categories, emergency where there is a danger to human life, urgent which are needed to avoid damage to property and routine which are repairs such as plastering, windows, doors, etc.

According to the local authority, a complete stock survey is to be carried out this year, starting from March 2019 to determine the current of the entire housing stock in the county.

All tenants are to be contacted in advance by letter informing them of the survey.

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