19 November 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fine Gael TD for Cork South Central, Jerry Buttimer, has demanded an explanation as to why Cork City Council has not used all of the housing funding allocated to it.
Deputy Buttimer was speaking in Dáil Éireann and was referring to information furnished to him by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, in reply to Parliamentary Questions on housing allocations to Cork City Council and Cork County Council.
“I have been in contact with the Minister’s office in recent weeks regarding the allocation of funding to both Cork City Council and Cork County Council. Between 2011 and 2014, this Government allocated €30 million to the City Council but, regrettably, not all those moneys were used.
“The figures in this regard are indisputable:
· €1 million for housing adaptation grants for older people and persons with a disability was not used
· €2 million for housing construction and acquisitions was left unused
· €3 million for energy efficiency measures was not drawn down
“There is a huge contrast between the two Cork local authorities in this regard. Over the same four-year period, the County Council drew down €6 million more than it was allocated. An additional €2.3 million was given for housing adaptations and an extra €500,000 for the purpose of putting vacant units back in use.
“I have contacted the CEOs of both councils about their use of these moneys. It is important that the City CEO, in particular, should answer those questions on behalf of the tens of thousands of people who are waiting to be housed and deserve better when it comes to efforts to tackle housing shortages.
“In addition, the latest figures for 2015 provided to me by the Department give cause for concern, with significant sums still remaining to be drawn down. Maybe it will be done in the next few weeks. But we need to get an explanation as to what happened in the four-year period.
“The people on the housing list in Cork deserve better than to see moneys available being returned to central government. They deserve better than seeing the money not being used.”