The recent publication of the National Oversight and Audit Commission’s 2021 Performance Indicators for Local Authorities Report indicated that vacant council houses in Cork City were on average lying idle for 75 weeks.
A spokesperson for Cork City Council confirmed to The Echo that the average turnaround in council houses in Cork City was 75 weeks in 2021, although this has reduced in 2022, and added there is a current vacancy rate of 3.7% for council houses in the city.
The results of the commission’s 2021 report prompted criticism from Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould.
“What we can clearly see is that the Voids Return Scheme isn’t working,” said Mr Gould.
“It is essentially allowing the problems to mount, and council houses to lie idle.
“We know that the distribution of these homes across the city is uneven.
“If houses in Cork City are, on average, sitting idle for 75 weeks, there is clearly more work to be done.
“That is almost a year and a half — but we know that there are properties lying idle for four years or longer.
“There are estates where huge portions of the houses are owned by Cork City Council and left to lie idle.
“This has huge impacts on anti-social behaviour, dumping and the overall atmosphere in communities,” he said.