42 vacant Clare council houses to be returned to use
Additional funding secured by Clare County Council for its 2013 Housing Works Programme will see an extra €700,000 being invested in improving the local housing stock.
July 26, 2013 (FPRC) -- The additional funding will be targeted at improving the energy efficiency and comfort levels of the Council’s social housing stock, at returning as many as 42 vacant council houses to use and at grant aid towards the adaption of houses for older people and people with a disability.
In welcoming Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s allocation of €198,490 under the Jobs stimulus investment programme for energy efficiency retrofitting of social housing stock the Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Joe Arkins, highlighted the new employment opportunities that will be provided for numerous private contractors in the county by the effective doubling of Clare’s 2013 allocation.
“The energy retrofitting measures for 2013”, he stated, “will target 250 older houses in the Council’s stock which lack adequate insulation and draught proofing. The works will, in addition to providing an economic boost, considerably improve the comfort levels for our tenants.”
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Housing SPC, Cllr. Patricia McCarthy welcomed the provision of additional funding of 400,000 euro to carry out necessary works to return vacant houses to stock.
“This budget provision will see contracts being issued in respect of approximately 42 vacant units around the county in the current year. This, she stated, is particularly welcome at a time when our recently completed housing needs assessment identified 1671 applicants in need of housing,” stated Councillor McCarthy.
The housing adaptation grants scheme also received a welcome boost with an additional allocation of €81,456 being made by the Minister to bring the total available for the year to €1,546,858. The Council has made significant progress in the past number of years in providing financial assistance for adaptation works to dwellings for older people and people with disabilities. The budget now available will provide assistance to approximately 250 applicants in 2013.
The Council’s Director of Housing Services, Bernadette Kinsella, commented: “This ambitious work programme presents a significant challenge for the Council. However, I believe the Housing Department’s highly motivated technical and administrative team will ensure the effective delivery of this programme.”
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