There have been renewed calls for an increase in funding for retrofitting of council homes. People Before Profit Councillor Madeleine Johansson made the call following information that only 76 homes in South Dublin County Council have been retrofitted so far. In a reply to a question submitted by Cllr Johansson to the monthly council meeting, South Dublin County Council confirmed that only 76 homes have been completed with works ongoing on the other 41 homes that were part of the 2021 programme. €3.2 million were provided from central government to the council in 2021 for 117 homes, with another €5.1 million for 2022 to cover another 156 homes. Delays to the 2021 works have been blamed on shortage of labour and supplies, and the late start to works due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Cllr Johansson commented: “The funding provided by government to retrofit council owned homes isn’t anywhere near what is needed. We are facing both a climate emergency and rising energy costs and one of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption is the retrofitting of homes.
“South Dublin County Council has a housing stock of over 9000 homes, many of which are in need of retrofitting. At the current rate most tenants will have to wait 20 to 30 years to have their home upgraded, and in the meantime they will have to pay high bills or even worse live in a cold home.
“We need urgent action, both by the government and South Dublin County Council, to speed up the retrofitting of council homes. To tackle the problem of labour shortage we need a state-owned construction company that could retrofit all public buildings including council homes in a more efficient way.
“The retrofitting of council owned homes on a large scale would help many who are struggling to pay their bills, as well as reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.”