Date Released: 28 November 2013
SIPTU has called on Cork City Council not to implement plans to sell or transfer social housing stock to housing associations as its retention under local authority control is in the best interest of tenants.
SIPTU Organiser, Con Casey, said: “Cork City Council and its staff have provided a high quality social housing service for generations. As with other services, such as waste management and driving licence processing, that have been transferred to private suppliers this move to privatise social housing will have a very detrimental effect on the service provided.
“Cork City Council staff have decades of experience and understanding of social housing provision. What is lacking is the provision of adequate funds to ensure the service is delivered to the high standard that staff want to achieve. SIPTU is calling on central government to provide the funding necessary for repairs to current vacant housing units and that the council also explore the option of accessing a loan to provide capital to fund the carrying out of these repairs. Rental income arising from letting out these currently vacant properties would enable the local authority to repay such a loan.”
He added: “If the council implements its plan to transfer social housing units to the voluntary sector it will break up the management of the city’s social housing stock. This will result in greater difficulties in finding units that suit tenants with varying needs and at different stages of their lives. This move will only benefit private landlords and private housing associations, it will harm the interests of social housing tenants.”