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€18m project to revamp shabby council homes

An €18m scheme to repair vandalised and dilapidated council houses and flats is being undertaken by Dublin City Council.

The project will cover more than 400 units at a cost of about €45,000 each and when repaired the homes will be rented out to people on social housing waiting lists.

PAINTING

The local authority is looking for contractors from outside its own staff to carry out the repairs and make the units fit to live in.

These are homes that have been vacated by tenants and in some cases may need just minor repairs, cleaning and painting.

Other units, however, which may have been boarded up for long periods, will require more extensive renovations such as plastering, plumbing, insulation and possibly new kitchens and bathrooms.

Council staff carry out on-going repairs for existing tenants who submit about 50,000 requests a year for maintenance work on their homes.

These repairs are generally minor and carried out while the tenants continue to live in the homes.

The new repair scheme, however, is for homes which are so badly damaged no one can live in them.

The council will employ outside contractors and is expected to spend €18m over a three-year period.

It is hoped that using private contractors will facilitate a quick turn-around for the dilapidated properties.

Dublin City Council currently has more than 24,000 houses and flats and just over 400 of these are currently in need of refurbishment.

There are just under 20,000 on the housing waiting list, although not all of these would need council houses, according to the local authority.

It is estimated that just over 6,000 families would have their housing needs "more appropriately met" outside the local authority system and remain in the private rented sector.

ASSESSMENT

In the past two years the council has cut refurbishment time from an average of six months to an average of just over four months.

At the moment it is carrying out an assessment of all housing needs.

csheehy@herald.ie


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