Properties in housing estates are seeing a dip in their value when the Council purchases a unit and moves “undesirables” into the location, one elected representative has claimed.
Speaking at the April meeting of Clare County Council’s Social Development SPC, Cllr PJ Kelly issued a warning to the local authority that individuals were being forced into negative equity in some instances when the Council purchase one house in an already built estate and the tenant is guilty of “anti-social behaviour”.
“A problem which has emerged in recent years and I’m not blaming the housing authority here. If a person guilty of anti-social behaviour moves into an estate, the value of the house drops,” Cllr Kelly stated. “If the Council buys a house in an estate and an undesirable moves in, the value comes down. We should be more sensitive when we do buy a house in an estate”.
Senior Executive Officer in the Housing Department, Siobhan McNulty responded. “I understand what you’re saying but it is a problem no matter where you live or whether the Council owns the property. We have strict rules that tenants have to adhere to, it is not fair to say that the local authority with the Council being the landlord has caused the problem. There are instances but examples are very low”.
She maintained that the Council being the landlord ensured they could attempt to clamp down on cases of such behaviour on their tenant’s part.
“Causing grief is one thing, we have to bear in mind the sensitivity of those people, they are taking out a mortgage and seeing it go into negative equity because someone has been moved in and the value goes down. I’m not anti-social housing,” the Fianna Fáil councillor added.