Homes refurbished in time for Christmas

Homes refurbished in time for Christmas
Four of the residents of the refurbished apartments at Edward Walsh Road, Togher, Cork, (from left) Anna Marie O'Shea, Donna Cullinane, Diane Jefferies and Liz Corcoran. Picture Denis Minihane

TOGHER residents were given an early festive present after their social housing units got a complete makeover in time for Christmas.

The houses have all undergone major energy retrofitting by Cork City Council as part of a maintenance project which recently gained an €11 million Government loan for 2019.

The houses, which were originally built in the 1950s, were often damp and dilapidated prior to the refurbishment, according to some residents.

“There was huge damp coming in previously,” said Liza Corcoran who has been living there for five years. “Obviously the houses were built in the 1950s and the gable side was particularly bad with damp.

“I think with most properties you would expect that almost when they’re that old,” she added.

“The work has made such a difference, especially heat-wise, you open the door and you can feel the heat straight away.”

Anna Marie O'Shea, one of the residents, pictured with the new stove in her refurbished apartment at Edward Walsh Road, Togher, Cork. Picture Denis Minihane
Anna Marie O'Shea, one of the residents, pictured with the new stove in her refurbished apartment at Edward Walsh Road, Togher, Cork. Picture Denis Minihane

Anna Marie O’Shea has been a resident at the complex for almost 23 years: “We can’t thank all of the lads who worked on it enough. The place looks 100 times better,” she said.

New insulation, fitted stoves, brand new triple glazed windows and doors and retrofit of plumbing systems were all part of the refurbishment.

“We’re bringing these buildings from maybe a D in energy ratings to an A standard,” said project manager Denis O’Connor.

Lord Mayor Mick Finn said there are plans to roll out the scheme, along with a greater focus on the provision of affordable social and private housing.

“The people who are living in these houses have been complaining for a long time that they were not fit for purpose and it’s clear that they were of their day.

“This programme, implemented across various locations, has brought them back up to an acceptable standard,” he added.

“I would be encouraging the council to roll this out to other areas across Cork.

“We’ve seen a regeneration in Knocknaheeny which we now need to see filter into the south side as well.

“The council is inundated with maintenance requests. With the new loan, we’re hoping to see the rollout of retrofits, insulation, roof repairs, and heating upgrades, no doubt, over the next few years.”

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