'The knob on the door can wait' as over 1000 repairs logged in Laois social housing

There are over 1000 repairs waiting to be completed in Laois social housing

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Laois County Council HQ Portlaoise

There is currently over 1,000 repairs on the local housing authority repairs list in Laois.

Three hundred of these are considered ‘minor repairs’ while 714 are ‘routine repairs’.

Laois County Council have said this figure is in keeping with the norm of the last two years and that works are ongoing.

In excess of 959 repairs have been carried out to date in 2017.

Cllr Aidan Mullins asked that the council outline the number of cases logged and waiting for repairs in the social housing stock at the June Graigecullen/Portarlington Municipal District meeting.

“You can see how bad things are. I think the housing department are in crisis. It is not a high up priority. The fact that it is the same year after year does not mean it is good, it means you are not doing enough,” Cllr Mullins said.

“Tenants have waited over a year for safety repairs, that is not an exaggeration,” he added.

“No cooker, no heating, no water. There is no excuse with any other landlord, I think the local authority is in breach as a landlord for not doing repairs,” Cllr Mullins added.

Cllr Mullins said he has also heard complaints about the people carrying out the repairs.

“There are complaints about plumbers carrying out sub-standard work and not coming back with parts, that is a major issue,” he said.

“In a recent case a woman was waiting over a year for her toilet to be fixed in this day and age,” he added.

Cllr Paschal McEvoy said the delay in repairs is due to a lack of money.

“Some of the repairs are simple things, I have one person looking for a door,” Cllr McEvoy said.

“Emergency repairs are being dealt with, but everybody sees their case as an emergency,” he added.

Cllr Tom Mulhall agreed that this backlog of repairs is down to a lack of resources.

“It is hard when people ring you, but it is a lack of resources. Prioritising is a big thing. You have to do what is most urgent like heating for an elderly couple in the winter in a matter of hours, the knob on the door can wait” Cllr Mulhall said.

“It is frustrating but we have to keep getting these things logged,” he added.

Laois County Council said chimney and roof surveys will be carried out within the next month and other items of repair request are being examined.