LIMERICK City West Councillor Joe Leddin has questioned the high number of houses owned by Limerick City and County Council in his electoral area that remain empty or derelict.
In response to a question submitted at the June Metropolitan District meeting of Limerick City and County Council, housing officials confirmed that 42 houses remained unoccupied and in various states of disrepair across Limerick City West.
Cllr Leddin questioned the funding being provided by Government under the voids scheme to redevelop houses for relet. He also queried the period of time involved in refurbishing these houses and the lack of remedial works done to some of the houses to prevent them from falling into further states of disrepair.
The Labour Party councillor said: “It is not right to have houses boarded up in existing residential estates for years while the council waits for funding to carry out upgrade works. Residents in these estates are living and dealing with overgrown gardens, rubbish being dumped and, in some cases, anti-social behaviour for years.
“We have to decide within a reasonable timeframe and in the absence of funding being secured to upgrade derelict houses that we place them on the open market for sale.
“By selling the houses, conditions of sale can be attached that the new owners can demonstrate the financial ability to carry the necessary works within an agreed period of time.
“In the middle of a housing crisis it is not acceptable to have houses that offer the potential to become homes for many families lying empty, especially with the recent announcement of retrofitting grants and energy upgrades schemes available,” he concluded.