The cost of refurbishing local authority homes in County Kildare is too high, writes Paul O’Meara.
That’s the belief of Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawlor.
He says the cost of running a Government initiative to refurbish council homes is more expensive in County Kildare than almost anywhere else in the State.
Over 1,000 vacant units throughout Ireland are to be refurbished “into high quality homes in 12 months”, said Dep. Lawlor - at a cost to the taxpayer of €15m.
“While this is welcome county Kildare will only benefit from 18 refurbished unity through this scheme.”
He contrasted this figure with the numebr of people on the KCC housing list, which has grown to 6,000.
The average cost of refurbishing a house in Co. Kildare equates to €26,111
But the costs involved are much lower elsewhere - like affluent south county Dublin (€12,571), Galway city (€16,094), Cork city (€17,228) and the neighbouring counties of Meath and Wicklow (€19,871 and €21,538 respectively).
Only three local authority areas are actually higher than Kildare - Wexford, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Kilkenny.
He asked why KCC is costing the refurbishment “at such a high level” adding “I wonder if they have tendered competitively for this scheme so that more houses could be released for the same amount of funding.”
According to Dep. Lawlor, when the first stage of the scheme was announced last April some €701,000 was allocated to KCC and 49 units were to refurbished at an average unit cost of just €14,306.
“Kildare County Council needs to explain why the costs involved now are substantially higher, resulting in less houses being refurbished,” he added.