A SENIOR engineer in County Hall has told councillors that it is pointless blocking the sale of a home in Douglas because it can never be used for social housing.
Local councillors had last year refused to rubberstamp the recommended ‘disposal of property’ in Douglas, saying that the boarded-up home should be refurbished for social housing.
However, Cork City Council’s senior engineer Keith Jones has said: “It’s a property that is not suitable for social housing. It has been put up for sale, an offer has been received, we are recommending its disposal.”
Mr Jones said that due to the issues relating to that property, if the council doesn’t dispose of it, it won’t be refurbished and it will transfer to the City Council when the boundary extension is imposed in May.
Mr Jones said: “At some point in time, this property was subdivided so what we have got now is essentially half a house. It is less than 40 square metres in total, and it is quite narrow.
“The minimum size for a one-bed house in the guidelines is 45 square metres and we can’t comply with that nor can we comply with the minimum rent and standard guidelines for refurbishing the property.
“In reality, in this house, if we were to refurbish it in the morning, the tenant would have a choice of having a kitchen or a bedroom, it is that small.”
Mr Jones further elaborated that there was a back garden in the property, but it is a metre above the house and it is inaccessible.
“In a nutshell, we physically cannot refurbish the property to any standard that would make it suitable for letting under the minimum letting rental standards and as such, it cannot be refurbished. That is why we are recommending it for disposal, we don’t recommend properties for areas like Douglas for disposal unless we have no other choice,” Mr Jones said.
Fine Gael Councillor Deirdre Forde said that if the council can save that property or have anything for sale in Douglas for the good of the community, she is on board.
“My preference is to keep it or have it sold for the benefit of the community,” Mrs Forde said. “Having said that we have to be practical and if there are other solutions that will solve the dilemma I’ll be willing to look at that.”
The Municipal District will vote on the request for disposal next month.