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Housing estates are looking like ghettos - claim

The latest  derelict house in the Long Lane which was which was recently set alight by vandals . Photo Brian McDaid. 0501bd421

The latest derelict house in the Long Lane which was which was recently set alight by vandals . Photo Brian McDaid. 0501bd421

Parts of some local housing estates are starting to look like ghettos due to the large number of boarded up Council houses, it has been claimed.

In some cases people were taking the copper water tanks, doors and radiators from the houses and leaving the local authority to foot the bill, a meeting heard.

This comes at a time when the council housing list is growing, yet as many as 65% of applicants refuse their first offer, a meeting of the Stranorlar Electoral Area heard this week,

Councillor Gary Doherty said there is a “multitude of boarded up houses” across the county, but particularly in his constituency, and some are beginning to “look like ghettos”.

Calls were made for stronger co-operation between the council and the gardaí to deal with issues like antisocial behaviour.

Cllr Patrick McGowan said there are many “genuine” people living in council houses but others were “abusing the system left right and centre”. “There are antisocial problems, all kind of shenanigans. I wouldn’t want to live next door to them so how do we expect others to?” he said.

He added, “People can sell drugs, go threaten people with knives or guns, and we can do nothing.

“The gardaí could be called ten times per day and if they can do nothing, it comes back to the council,” he said.

Area Manager Gerry Gilroy said there was “no single issue” as to why the houses were boarded up but due to budget constrictions the council are unable to restore the houses at the rate they were being handed back to the local authority. He did however, acknowledge that the “vast majority” of refusals were due to antisocial behaviour concerns.

 

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