Call To Speed Up Turnaround Of Vacant Homes in Carrigaline MD
Urgent focus on speeding up the allocation of vacant county council owned dwellings was urged by Cllr Jack White (FG) and supported at the monthly meeting of Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).
A timeline of four and a half months (138 days) from the date a vacant council dwelling being re-let had to be improved on.
Writes Leo McMahon
While acknowledging that council staff in the housing directorate were doing their very best, the turnaround time for offers of homes in Carrigaline MD simply had to be speeded up and he had put it to the housing directorate that extra staff were needed because the existing workload was huge.
On the positive side, Cllr White welcomed the fact that the council was and would be delivering a huge amount of social housing stock in Carrigaline MD.
In agreement, Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) also paid tribute to the council’s housing staff but said it was frustrating for applicants who contacted elected members to see houses looking completed but still lying vacant. In that regard, there was need to constantly look at procedures and staffing levels to ensure allocations as soon as possible to address the huge demand.
Cllr Michael Paul Murtagh (FG), in support said that what jumped out in the statistics at the Southern Committee meeting was there were around 1,500 people looking at every single house in Carrigaline MD and 550 bidding on one. Staff had to go through all of this which was a huge volume of work and with more homes coming onstream, every procedure needed to be looked to improve turnaround.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Ben Dalton-O’Sullivan (Ind) said that like his fellow councillors he regularly got ‘Any news?’ emails from applicants. Just two housing officers in South Cork division stretching from Macroom to Youghal was incredibly difficult for a hard working staff.
‘Can we do more?’ asked Cllr White referring to just two housing officers to deal with applications that required Garda checks and as the chairperson pointed out, producing wages or social welfare slips.