No funding to carry out repairs on 72 local homes
72 council houses are lying idle because the council don't have a sufficient maintenance budget to bring them back into use.
' The normal turn around for these essential works is twelve weeks. But with no budget available the majority of these homes will not be issued this year", said Mayor Paul Bell.
He says a resolution to this crisis will take 'a degree of political courage' - to try and help 2,500 people on the housing list.
'We also have a very serious issue whereby Council is unable to effectively maintain its existing housing stock and is unable to effectively conduct routine and essential at the request of tenants many of whom are reporting issues concerning home heating and water leaks. In order to address the housing crisis we need additional resources and in this regard I believe its time to review an increase Local Property Tax for the sole purpose of dedicating any increase to Council home maintenance to alleviate the homeless situation in our town.
"I accept that what I am saying may not be overly popular and may cause some discomfort for some elected members. However if we accept that we have a homeless crisis in our town and that lack of dedicated funding is contributing to this situation then we as Councillors are faced with a choice.
'That choice is either to spectate or participate in a position which actively and positively impacts on addressing some of the issue concerning homelessness. This is leadership and its what we are elected to do. Homelessness is not just an issue for those on the housing list, it's a issue for our town and we must do everything possible to address this crisis and as relying on Government is not a luxury we can afford.'