New policy aims to improve turnaround time for vacant houses in Limerick

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

New policy aims to improve turnaround time for vacant houses in Limerick

LIMERICK City and County Council has introduced a new policy, which it hopes will reduce the length of time local authority housing can be turned around.

The authority’s new single point of contact scheme aims to cap the time of moving an empty house from derelict into a liveable condition to less than 30 weeks at the absolute outset.

The new initiative, named Single Point of Contact was unveiled at this week’s housing committee meeting.

In what council officials hope will be a fairly seamless process, a derelict house would be notified to a dedicated team in council, with the unit inspected and categorised, before being allocated and any construction or restoration work takes place.

For internal repairs, it’s hoped to have homes refitted within a month, while heating upgrades and other minor refurbishments will be targeted to be completed in eight weeks.

A so-called “deep retrofit”, it’s hoped will be completed within 20 weeks.

This would include wall insulation, the installation of windows, plus mechanical and electrical systems.

In cases where a home is completely derelict, and in need of structural works, re-roofing, or indeed a complete retrofit, it’s hoped to have these works done in under 30 weeks.

Members gave a cautious welcome to the scheme, with Cllr Adam Teskey pointing out a home in St Mary’s Park, Rathkeale has been derelict ever since he came onto the authority four years ago.