FORMER city councillor Sean Griffin wants city manager Conn Murray to take immediate action on derelict houses.
Mr Griffin, Sinn Fein’s spokesman for City South, says dereliction of houses in areas like Hyde Road, Prospect and Ballinacurra Weston have reached “epidemic” proportions, and represent a major health risk to people living adjacent.
“They are giving a rundown look to areas where most residents strive to keep their houses in good condition. Many of these houses are the property of Limerick City Council and a number are in good condition internally that could be upgraded and let to some of the more than 3,000 people on the House Waiting List. Immediate action is needed on this issue especially now with the proposed introduction of the Property Tax,” he said.
Mr Griffin said many houses are derelict with overgrown vegetation, rat infestation, and a “galaxy” of bugs.
“These houses were bought by the for profit property speculators during the so called boom and are now abandoned because they have been vandalised or burned out,” he said, “There is no money to be accrued from them in their present condition so they are allowed to deteriorate until they become a health hazard. “
He urged City Hall executives to use the Derelict Sites Act or the Dangerous Buildings Act to ensure action.
Meanwhile, speaking at this week’s City Council meeting, Labour’s southside councillor Joe Leddin repeated his call for the authority to use a compulsory purchase order to take in charge some derelict sites, including the former Texaco garage, which is occasionally in use as a car valet service.
“This, and other sites are an eyesores. I am not expecting miracles, but the site needs to be tidied up. We have compulsory purchase order powers there if needs be,” he said.
Planner Kieran Reeves said he would refer the matter to the council’s property department.