More than half of people on waiting list fail to use system
More than half of the people on the housing waiting list in Co Cork still have not logged onto a new online system which allows them to view vacant local authority properties and express interest in them.
Figures released by the county council showed that, of 6,498 people issued with personal identification numbers (PINs) to log onto the system, only 3,702 have done so to date.
The system first went live in North Cork on November 30. Of the 1,574 people issued with the PINs in that region, just 852 have already logged on (54%).
It was introduced to West Cork on March 1 of this year and in South Cork on March 29. In South Cork 3,087 PINs were issued and 1,215 people have logged on (61%). In West Cork, 1,837 were issued and 978 logged on (53%).
The county council put special terminals in many of its libraries and offices to enable those who did not have computers or inadequate broadband connection to log on at these venues.
However, officials said that, in some places, nobody bothered to use them.
County councillors expressed concern at the low usage because people who were not logging on were putting themselves at a disadvantage.
Huge viewing figures have been received by the local authority for many of the houses that it has advertised online through what is known as the Choice-Based (CB) Letting.
Each Wednesday, the council puts its vacant houses up online and they stay there for a week, during which time people logged onto the system can view the actual property.
They can see pictures of it, the number of bedrooms, what heating system it has, and if it has a garden.
People who might like to live in the property can make an online expression of interest which is followed up by council staff.
Council officials said that, to date, the properties they had advertised online had received 92,798 views and 8,180 expressions of interest.
That translated into an average of 780 views and 69 expressions of interest per property.
To date, 70 properties have been advertised through CB; 68 have been given to successful applicants.
However, in two cases successful applicants then turned them down. Council officials didn’t state the reason for refusals.
The officials did not give a breakdown of the most online viewed houses throughout the county, but did provide a list for the North Cork area.
The most popular, with 1,260 views, was No 67 Rathowen, Fermoy. In second place came 4 Woodland Drive, College Wood, Mallow, with 1,164 views. Third most popular was No 56 Shanowen, Rathcormac, which got 1,013 hits. The property at 4, Woodland Drive got 165 expressions of interest, while No 10 The Avenue, Castlepark, which is also in Mallow, got 145. The property at Rathowen, Fermoy received 118.
Fianna Fáil councillor Frank O’Flynn suggested a countywide ‘roadshow’ to get more people to log on.
The officials said they would consider the suggestion and in the meantime plan to write to all those who haven’t logged on yet saying it was in their interests to do so.
They have urged people experiencing difficulties with the system to seek help at their local council office.
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