Cork County Council to Seek Permission to Make 15% of It’s Future Home Builds Disability Friendly

By Seamus Whelehan.


Cork County Council have written to the Minister for housing Eoughan Murphy outlining their concerns over government policy on planning for social housing.
While we are building for the here and now, we are creating a social housing crisis of the not future proofing our homes, County Councillors have claimed.
It has emerged that none of the social houses designed for construction in Cork County have downstairs accommodation and bathing facilities.
This is despite the latest central statistics office figures showing that 27% of people are over the age of 50 with 7% of the population registered with a disability.
Independent Cllr John Paul O’Shea told the December sitting of Cork County Council that if the authority continues to follow “archaic” department of housing designs, we will be creating a further housing crisis in the future.
There are currently over 7,500 social houses in the county with Cork County Council expected to deliver 274 new homes across the region by 2019.
Of the current stock 43 homes are awaiting extensions, with a further 150 minor adaptations need to be carried out.
Last month the authority set aside €250,000 in its 2018 budget, to carry out disability adaptations in some of its social housing units.
Cllr O’Shea who had a number of the Councils plans viewed by a professional architect said “the overall cost of building the adapted home in the design period is quite minimal” whereas the authority “are spending a minimum of €80,000 per adaptation at the moment.”
Fianna Fail Cllr Gearoid Murphy said “one might not have difficulty getting upstairs at 40 or 50 but it could very well be a different story 10, 15 or 20 years later”
Cllr Gerard Pat Murphy who uses a wheelchair agreed with his Fianna Fail colleague “it makes absolute sense because everybody’s going to grow old and will need such facilities.”
He said it also made sense to the tax payer while saving money for the exchequer.
Fine Gael Cllr Kay Dawson also welcomed the move stating that ensuring future builds are universally designed was one way Cork County Council could implement its “age friendly” policy.