Local politicians have raised concerns that the outsourcing of work to re-let council homes is causing delays. The concerns were raised following the release of re-let times at the September County Council meeting. The average time to re-let a dwelling now stands at 26 weeks, or half a year. Compared to 5 years ago in August 2016 when the average time was 9 ½ weeks. At the same time there has been a doubling in the number of voids, or empty council homes, from 47 to 108. In a question submitted to the council meeting by People Before Profit Councillor Madeleine Johansson the management outlined that the vast majority of re-let works are outsourced to private contractors. The average cost of the outsourced works was €22 658 per unit. In August housing maintenance workers held two one-day work stoppages against the outsourcing of their jobs.
Cllr Madeleine Johansson commented: “There is an unacceptable delay in the re-letting of council homes. These homes are lying idle, boarded up for 6 months when they could be turned around much quicker. Instead of outsourcing these works we need the council to hire more housing maintenance staff and apprentices that could do these jobs directly.
Gino Kenny TD for Dublin Mid West added: “We fully support the workers in their dispute regarding outsourcing. They are taking an important stand on this issue and deserve to be commended for it. “In the midst of a housing crisis we should not be privatising and outsourcing the important jobs done by the housing maintenance staff. We need to see more staff employed by our councils to help build, renovate and upkeep social housing in this constituency.”