“A magnet for anti-social behaviour”: Unoccupied housing issue highlighted after blaze

first_imgCathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Gerry McMonagle has highlighted Donegal’s unoccupied housing issue following an early morning blaze.Two fire engines and Gardaí attended the scene of a fire at 8:15am at An Lagan, Killylastin, Letterkenny.The semi-detached houses are both unoccupied. One has been destroyed, with the other being severely smoke damaged. Cllr McMonagle tells Donegal Daily that he believes that this fire was sparked deliberately, as Letterkenny’s bank-owned houses have become a “magnet for anti-social behaviour.”“When a fire occurs in a house that has been unoccupied for a while in the early hours of the morning, someone had to have started it.”From speaking to residents in the area Cllr McMonagle says that previous occupants have left the area due to anti-social behaviour, and families in the area have been left shaken after this morning’s incident.“A family have recently left the area because they were afraid something like this would happen. They felt they couldn’t live there any longer, they were fearful for their safety.” “There are dozens of these unoccupied houses across the county owned by banks and lending institutions, and they have become a magnet for anti-social behaviour. People smoke and drink in these houses, and I have complaints from residents in these areas that these houses were used as dens and dives.”Many of these homes have been empty since the Recession when countless families lost their homes.“The banks and lending institutions have a responsibility to ensure that they are at least secure.”This is not the fire time fires have been set in this area of Letterkenny. In July, residents thought a bomb went off in the area after vandals set a large gas cylinder on fire in Killylastin Heights, with debris from the blast landing over 100 yards away and onto nearby roofs.As for anti-social behaviour in the area, Cllr McMonagle says that education is the key to solving the issue. “We’ve been asking for more Garda resources for a number of years, and we believe more community Gardaí may help this. Parents also need to be mindful of where their children are to ensure they are not involved in this behaviour.”Many of these houses have been built within the last 12 to 15 years, and with over 2,000 families on the waiting list in Donegal alone -Cllr McMonagle says it is a shame to see these “perfectly good” houses “wasting away and rotting”.“I would plead with these institutions to speak to the Council about using these houses for social housing, as for now they are attracting anti-social behaviour and are being allowed to dilapidate before our eyes.”“One of these houses had previously been used for social housing through the Rental Accommodation Scheme, and we would welcome the institutions that own these houses to speak to the council about these schemes instead of the houses lying empty, especially with the ongoing Housing Crisis.” “It’s a sin to see good houses going to ruin, and the institutions need to wise up and not allow these viable homes to fall into disrepair.”“A magnet for anti-social behaviour”: Unoccupied housing issue highlighted after blaze was last modified: October 26th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:an lagangerry mc monaglekillylastinletterkennylast_img read more