Around €2.25m is to be spent refurbishing 155 vacant county council houses in Co Cork
Sinn Féin councillor Melissa Mullane called the delay in restoring council-owned houses and letting them to people on waiting lists “a big scandal”.
Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath described the delay as “an enormous problem” and claimed that, on average, the work took 12 months.
“The funding is welcome, but I fear it’s not enough,” he said.
The Government is funding €1.18m of the cost, with the reminder to come from the council’s own resources.
Fine Gael councillor Kevin Murphy said at least the move was a step in the right direction, but Sinn Féin councillor Paul Hayes said it was “only a drop in the ocean”.
“I know of houses boarded up in Clonakilty for 10 years, which is an absolute disgrace,” said Mr Hayes.
“There are a lot of people willing to do light decoration etc, to help get these houses inhabited quickly.”
Mr Hayes asked the council to relax its policies and allow prospective tenants and their families to help speed up refurbishments.
Ms Mullane recall the environment minister had expressed the hope long-term unemployed people would be used to carry out some of the work.
However, Tim Lucey, the council’s chief executive, said this would not happen because the council would be asking private contractors to tender.
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