Empty houses open invitation to gangs – Leddin

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CONCERNS regarding the attraction that empty and boarded up properties hold for young people, have again been raised by councillors.

Cllr Joe Leddin is now questioning the city council’s policy of immediately boarding up houses in areas when a tenant is relocated “without any discussion or concern regarding the consequences that this boarded

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up house has on the remaining community”. He will shortly meet with senior city council housing staff and regeneration officials for a full discussion on the issue.

Elsewhere in this newspaper is this week’s assurance from a garda superintendent to a local councillor that a southside suburban area will be carefully monitored by the police to tackle an outbreak of anti-social activity that, according to a councillor, has made “a ghetto” of the area.

It is agreed that Cllr Leddin’s argument that the boarded up council houses are like a red rag to a bull, merits some very serious consideration from the council.

“The continued increase in the number of derelict houses on the southside of the city is creating huge problems, such as dumpling, anti-social behaviour, criminality and health and safety issues for the people living in either adjacent houses or in the general community,” Cllr Leddin says.

“I’ve received calls again today from residents who are both home owners and tenants in Ballinacurra Weston, and who now have to cope with another boarded up house in their area, which, apart from adding to the extremely poor appearance of the estate, will now create problems, such as dampness for those living on either side.

“With no exact timeframe as to when the physical regeneration of these estates is due to start, it’s totally unfair to expect residents to have to put up with the problems caused by these derelict houses,” he says.

Calling for a fundamental rethink of the council’s letting policy in order to stabilise communities, the Labour politician says that with no guarantee in the short term of government funding to commence the regeneration of these estates, a complete reassessment of the estates within the regeneration areas, is now required, if a complete destabilisation of the areas is to be avoided.