Council report details impact of pandemic on housing in Cork in 2020

Council report details impact of pandemic on housing in Cork in 2020

According to the Council’s Annual Report, the total number of active tenancies at the end of 2020 was 3,722 while a total of 756 property inspections were carried out in the county during 2020. Picture: PA

CORK County Council has detailed the progress made across the county in relation to housing in 2020 amid the many challenges posed by Covid-19.

According to the County Council’s Annual Report for 2020, the income from housing rent for the year amounted to €19 million with a further €1.3 million collected in respect of RAS (Rental Accommodation Scheme) properties.

The collection rate for the county was 100% for the year.

In 2020, a total of 674 houses were allocated to successful applicants which included allocations to units provided by Approved Housing Bodies, to NARPS (National Asset Residential Property Services) properties and to the council's own social housing stock.

Administration of the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) continued countrywide during 2020 with 853 tenants transferred to HAP.

According to the Council’s Annual Report, the total number of active tenancies at the end of 2020 was 3,722 while a total of 756 property inspections were carried out in the county during 2020.

However, the HAP inspection programme was “severely impacted” by Covid-19.

Construction programme 

While construction was disrupted as a result of Covid-19, Cork County Council stated that it continued to progress its construction programme during 2020 with the Part 8 process completed in respect of 42 units during the year.

50 units were delivered through the Council’s own build programme in 2020 while 191 units were delivered through the turnkey model and 13 units through the Part V process.

A number of construction projects were onsite at the time and will deliver a total of 379 units while a further 435 dwellings were at various stages of the approvals process.

Refurbishments and upgrades 

Across the county, a total of 140 vacant properties were refurbished in 2020 and of these, 135 council properties were repaired through the continuation of a funding stream made available by the Department of Housing.

The total value of the works undertaken was €2.5m.

In 2020, works to assist disabled persons were carried out on a total of 69 local authority houses. These included 64 minor works projects and five extensions.

Throughout 2020, the Council received 1,009 applications for housing adoption grants for older people and people with a disability.

It paid out a total of €3,863,336 in grants under the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme for People with a Disability, the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme and the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme.

Meanwhile, a total of 190 properties benefited from an Energy Efficiency Upgrades during the year.

These consisted of 55 properties under the Phase 2, Energy Efficiency Improvement measures, which includes the provision of external wall insulation, new windows and door, attic insulation and Heat Pumps.

The remaining properties were vacant with a total value of the works undertaken coming to €1.3m.

An SEAI Scheme, Housing Strand 2020, upgrading 10 properties in Sarsfield Terrace, Youghal was also completed. This saw the properties retrofitted with external insulation, loft insulation, ceiling dry lining, and air to water heat pumps with an overall project value of €200,000.

In year one of the Traveller Accommodation Programme, which runs for the period of July 2019 to 2024, the Council said it provided 11 standard Local Authority or Approved Housing Body lettings to Traveller families.

Exceeding its targets, a further 13 households were provided with accommodation through the HAP scheme.

As of the end of 2020, Cork County also received 500 applications for Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans. In 2020, 24 loans were either advanced or part advanced with a total loan value of over €4.3million.

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