Serious delays to maintenance and repair works on houses owned by Louth County Council is causing worry and stress for tenants, according to a Dundalk councillor.
Sinn Fein’s Anne Campbell says “there has been a massive slow-down in getting maintenance and repairs completed with council officials saying that all works are subject to the maintenance budget in the second half of the year.”
Cllr Campbell raised the issue at the last meeting of Louth County Council. “According to the figures, maintenance requests have increased by 20% in two years, I also noted that work had been approved at tenants’ homes, but had not been done because of cost. I asked director of housing, Joe McGuinness, if there was a problem with money.”
In response, Mr McGuinness said: ‘There are issues with a significant number of housing maintenance requests and there are budgetary pressures. They are being prioritised and some will be done’.
Cllr. Campbell said: “I have noticed that the delays between maintenance or repair requests going in and the work getting done have been getting longer and longer since June. I have sought updates on behalf of a number of constituents and have been told that there are ‘budgetary pressures’ and each job is subject to the funding being available for it.”
“There are people who have come to me who have been waiting for months to get relatively small, but important, work done to their council houses and it’s just not happening. Indeed, there is currently no indication, in many of these cases, when the work may be carried out.”
Cllr Campbell pointed out that “Louth County Council has a responsibility to its tenants in the same way a private landlord has certain obligations to his/her tenants, including repairing and maintaining the structure of the property and maintaining the interior of the property to the standard it was at the start of the tenancy. We would not accept ‘budgetary pressures’ from a private landlord and we should not accept this reason from local authorities either.”
“This is causing a lot of stress and worry for people who are waiting to get work completed.”