Unoccupied homes becoming target for anti-social behaviour

By Maurice Garvey

UNOCCUPIED homes are a beacon for anti-social activity, according to local councillor Daithí Doolan.

Tenants were due to move into a social housing development in Cherry Orchard last year, but delays have led to homes being broken into, residents intimidated and on Friday, an unoccupied home had its windows smashed, says Cllr Doolan.

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Orchard Meadows

The brand new €15m Orchard Meadows site containing 72 three-bed homes, was initially due to be completed last year, with tenants from Dublin City Council’s housing list providing full occupancy on-site by May 2018.

Up to 36 homes in the Co-Operative Housing Ireland (CHI) development, were completed and occupied by families on the housing list before Christmas, but not the remaining 36.

Complications with utility connections led to a delay back in May 2018, and a major setback followed in September, when site contractor MDY went through financial difficulties, which led to builders pulling tools off-ite amid fears they wouldn’t be paid.

However, MDY are back on-site in recent months, and finishing works are being completed at the remaining homes.

Street lights have yet to be turned on, providing vandals an opportunity to create havoc, according to Cllr Doolan, who said earlier this year that residents were being “terrorised.”

“Unfortunately, the longer it lies dormant, the more likely it will attract anti-social activity,” said Sinn Féin Cllr Doolan.

“I was contacted by residents on Friday night after windows were smashed at a house, gardai were called and the house was boarded up. We have seen this before with rapid builds in Drimnagh and Cherry Orchard, where Irish Water and the ESB are slow to put in connections.

“It’s not fair on residents. I hear their frustrations. Tenants are ready to go, but we expect them to move in, in the coming weeks.”

Speaking at the recent South Central area committee meeting, Dublin City Council’s Kay Noonan said: “The ESB have it on record that the system was live since last September but the connection hasn’t been made, and they are re-doubling their efforts to try and get that solved.

“I’ve also made contact with the acquisitions section and they are going to try and intervene with the ESB.”

The Echo contacted the ESB for comment on Wednesday evening.

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