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120 jobs every day on council homes upkeep

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CHAIRMAN: Dermot Lacey

CHAIRMAN: Dermot Lacey

CHAIRMAN: Dermot Lacey

LOCAL authority workers must carry out 120 maintenance jobs a day on Dublin City Council homes.

And the workload is being undertaken by fewer staff and an ever decreasing budget.

Between 2008 and 2012, an average of 44,076 jobs a year were carried out, working out at 3,673 a month or 120 a day.

The work can involve anything from fixing leaky pipes to minor repairs to doors, windows and heaters.

BUDGET

The maintenance budget – which stood at €59.4m of taxpayers' money in 2008 – was down to €46.4m this year, a 21.8pc reduction, figures from a council housing report show.

In the same period, staff numbers in the department have fallen 20pc – from 534 to 426.

"A lot of the council housing would be very old and that's part of the problem," chair of the council's housing committee Dermot Lacey told the Herald.

"And a lot of the tenants would be more vulnerable or older so that all adds to the level of maintenance jobs," the Labour councillor added.

He said staff are now required to work more.

"People have taken on a lot more work. We should congratulate staff for working harder."

Mr Lacey said the local authority is trying to bring in a new scheme to allow tenants to take up housing more quickly.

"We are trying to bring in a scheme in which you will get a tenancy more quickly if you do some of the initial work yourself," he added.

ENERGY

The new housing maintenance report comes following a recent document which revealed 70pc of the local authority's stock of 26,000 homes has a poor energy rating.

Council official Matt Carroll said its homes tended to be "quite old", dating mostly from between 1930 and 1977.

"About two-thirds of our stock was built before 1977," he said. "1977 is significant because that's when there started to be building regulations."

hnews@herald.ie


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