SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVEN Cork homes are among 7,000 households on a waiting list for the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme which Cork County Councillors have said is not good enough.
The scheme is focused on improving the energy efficiency and warmth of homes owned by people on low incomes.
Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea was behind two previous letters, sent by council, on the back of a motion of his, to the Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan and requested the council attempt a third correspondence in an attempt to get a timeline for the scheme’s backlog.
Speaking about the response, Mr O’Shea said he was “Very disappointed” with the response from Minister Ryan’s office.
“We don’t have a timeframe of when this backlog of over 7,000 homes will be dealt with. This is our second time writing now and we specifically asked for a plan in terms of how these people are going to have their waiting times reduced and their energy efficiency works done “I think we should write back again and ask the Minister to outline a plan in relation to how 7,000 households, of which 757 are in Cork will be addressed and they should be addressed within a 12 month period.” Mr O’Shea said these households are “in limbo” and a letter should be sent back, written in the council’s “strongest fashion.” County Mayor Gillian Coughlan agreed with the Fine Gael Councillor and said a specific timeline would be appreciated.
Fine Gael Councillor Kevin Murphy said a note should be fast-tracked to the Minister, along with the Minister for Finance ahead of Tuesday’s Budget.
“I think with the Budget tomorrow, that scheme should be up and running at this stage, I think we should send something, an email is too slow, some sort of quick-fix job to make sure its on the cards for tomorrow on Budget Day. It’s a very important one to get.
“I suggest we send a note immediately to the Minister for Finance.” Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath fully supported the idea.
“We should make contact as soon as possible. This is a very popular scheme and it is oversubscribed. 147,000 houses done to date is an impressive figure, but having a two-year average waiting list isn’t good enough and we need to do better.” A third correspondence from the County Council was sent to the Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport regarding a specific timeline on dealing with the scheme’s backlog.