Carrick-on-Suir Town Hall, which is the headquarters of Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District
Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District councillors have appealed to the local authority to take action to replace windows and doors in older council houses - some of which are in such poor condition that tenants have their open fires lighting all day.
Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Kieran Bourke (FF) complained at a recent monthly meeting of the district's councillors that council tenants in homes that were built between 70 and 90 years ago were “not getting looked after” by the council.
These tenants were paying the top rate of rent but some of their homes were in “dire straits”.
He asked when the council would have a budget in place for the replacement of windows and doors in these older social homes.
Fellow Carrick-on-Suir councillor David Dunne (SF) told the meeting he was extremely frustrated about the lack of investment in windows and doors.
“We were told a windows and doors scheme was coming after the insulation projects but there has been no word about it.”
He said there were council tenants who had open fires in their homes and they had these lit all day because their windows and doors were not fit for purpose.
“We need to get something happening before the winter. We need to at least draw up a list and set some money aside to do works every year,” he declared.
District Chairman Cllr Mark Fitzgerald (FG) from Cloneen said the windows and doors in the homes of a number of his elderly constituents were “not up to scratch”. The windows were a particular problem. “One couple is fearful that a window can be pulled open from the outside quite easily,” he pointed out.
Senior council engineer, Jonathan Cooney, responded that by 2022 the council will have in the region of 130 to 150 of its social homes across all of its five districts brought up to a B2 Building Energy Rating standard. This will increase 20% year on year.
In the interim, he said, the districts carry out planned maintenance works and Carrick MD has been quite strong in doing that. The Department of Housing, Local Government & Planning was currently concentrating on funding to get vacant local authority houses up to standard for allocating again to tenants. It was looking at introducing a planned maintenance programme going forward so that instead of getting money to do up vacant houses, the council will get funds for maintenance works.
Cllr Bourke said he looked forward to next year when funding will hopefully become available for the replacement of windows and doors. There were council tenants aged in their 60s and 70s looking at vacant social houses being refurbished from head to toe in their estates with new windows and doors installed. These tenants were looking for new windows and doors for their homes for up to 15 years.
“You can’t blame them for having a bee in their bonnet about it,” he noted.
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