A local councillor has questioned where Kildare County Council plans to spend the increased budget of €914,000 for renovating and upgrading social housing in Athy.
Cllr Mark Wall tabled a motion at this month’s area meeting, which was held earlier today, seeking council plans for renovationg and upgrading social housing properties in Athy given the agreed increase in the council budget for such works. He also requested confirmation from the council of the estates and properties where it will carry out this work and any timelines.
“I want to know where is the €918,000- that we agreed for housing maintenance in Athy- going?” Cllr Wall said. “This has not been answered yet.”
The meeting heard that the housing maintenance budget was increased in 2018 due to the increased number of houses in the council’s stock, the increasing cost of bring vacant houses up to the higher standards now required and climbing cost of maintenance. The budget agreed by the members will be used to fund all the necessary response and planned maintenance works, members were told. It will also help supplement any necessary support to funded schemes such as engery upgrade programmes.
KCC's Colm Flynn from the Housing Department in response outlined specifically where the money was being spent.
“We have rolled out schemes of energy upgrade works to 294 houses at a cost of nearly €700,000 in Athy. And we have replaced windows and doors at 89 houses in Athy at a cost of nearly €400,000,” he said.
“That is comparable if not higher than in other areas in Kildare. You can no longer simply give a house a lick of paint and turn it around again. There is a legal requirement now to check everything which has lenghty knock on effects.”
He added that KCC refurbhished 123 houses in 2017 but overspent by €1 m in the process.
“This year we have a budget of €2.9 m but the average house turnaround cost can vary from €18,000 to €50,000 depending on what is required.”