Limerick council to ramp up inspection of authority housing

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Photographs of the state in which some council houses are left by departing tenants were circulated to councilllors at a meeting of the housing SPC

Photographs of the state in which some council houses are left by departing tenants were circulated to councilllors at a meeting of the housing SPC

LIMERICK City and County Council is to step up the regularity of its inspections of local authority housing.

It comes after images of how some homes are left by departing tenants were revealed to councillors.

The pictures, disclosed by council official Rob Lowth, show rubbish strewn on the floors, sinks and cookers pulled from the walls and the homes in a generally uninhabitable state.

“Homes are being returned to us not fully cleaned out. In some older homes, we find that when we have been doing upgrading in the past, some never had proper heating systems fitted. There are a multitude of issues from windows and doors, to suspended flooring and rotten floorboards," he said.

Tracey McElligott of the Moyross Residents Forum, who sits as a sectoral interest on the housing committee, said: “As a community, we feel that houses should never get into this state. Unless homes are being inspected regularly, they will go back to that state.”

Councillor Jerome Scanlan called for agreements to be put in place in council tenancy contracts, stipulating penalties if houses are not kept in good order.

He added: "I do not want to be hard on our young people, but they need to be taught housekeeping skills."

But Cllr Lisa-Marie Sheehy, 23, hit back, saying: "It is very unfair to blame young people. There is a mix of people of all ages in these tenancies".

Mr Lowth agreed, saying there is a "wide mix" of ages in some of the units not properly maintained.