[Sinn Fein]

27 November 2001

Tenants pay for Cork Corporation Incompetence

During a debate on the estimates, Sinn Fein Councillor Jonathan O Brien tonight accused Cork Corporation of behaving like a Rackman landlord, charging its tenants an extraordinary rent rise to pay for its own inefficiency.

Jonathan O Brien said:

``The proposals to raise the rent of Corp Corporation tenants by 16%, nearly four times the rate of inflation, is unjustifiable. This is what could be expected of the worst private landlord extracting as much as possible from his tenants with little regard for their welfare.

``This is being done at a time when the Corporation has one of the worst housing maintenance records in the country. The Corporation now proposes to spend 6,420,000 on maintenance. But no amount of money, no matter how great, can deal with the appalling maintenance situation until the Corporation puts in place a workable maintenance system.

``At a time when over 3,000 people are on the waiting list, there are 400 houses belonging to the Corporation lying empty. In my tenure as a councillor this figure does not change from year to year. Most of these houses lie vacant because they need some repairs done on them. If the Corporation had in place a system which eliminated this bank of unused properties then the extra revenue gathered from them in rent, not to mind the savings on security, would match the increase in overall rent.

``By passing these estimates the Corporation is abusing its position as a landlord, penalising its tenants for its own incompetence. That is why I am voting against the adoption of the estimates''

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