Cold comfort for tenants of 'green' homes

TENANTS of 'green' council houses have no chance of a rent refund because their homes were not as energy efficient as they should have been.

The problems with the solar panels on the new houses in the Rosemary Heights estate in Ferns were raised last week by Cllr. Declan MacPartlin. The Camolin-based independent passed on complaints from residents that their panels did not work, while they also had questions about the insulation of buildings.

Instead of being snug, they were obliged to meet escalating fuel bills during the cold winter, said Cllr. MacPartlin who argued that they should be given a rent reduction However, he did not convince director of housing Tony Larkin, though the top official accepted that there have been problems with the panels.

'There is no chance whatever of a rent reduction,' Tony Larkin said firmly. He pointed out that the county council has 2,500 houses on its books. Anyone who had problems coming up with the rent should be looking to the HSE or social welfare authorities, he suggested.

Cllr. MacPartlin insisted that the tenants in Rosemary Heights had been promised advantages which had not been delivered but this only prompted the director to repeat that there would be no drop in rents charged. He also revealed that there are at least two thousand people on council housing lists across the towns and districts of County Wexford.

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