ONE-year tenancies are part of the solution to anti-social behaviour according to Labour TD Ciarán Lynch.
“Reading today’s Irish Examiner, there seems to be no let-up in the scourge of anti-social behaviour in communities around the countries. These are the kind of crimes that don’t make the national headlines, but that have a serious impact on communities at local level. Vandalism, loutish behaviour and drunkenness can leave many people terrified and isolated, and communities are crying out for action to be taken.
“Councils already have the power to evict tenants in instances of anti-social behaviour, but the process can be long-drawn-out and cumbersome.
“Local councils should be given the authority to offer provisional one-year tenancies to prospective tenants, which would give them the authority to terminate a tenancy in the event of anti-social behaviour.
“This is something that I intend to raise in the Oireachtas at my next opportunity.
“I know from my own discussions with officials in local authorities, who have responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour, that such incidents generally speaking, come to light shortly after a housing allocation is made, and the best way to address it is to nip it in the bud.
“However, in cases where the families involved are not housed by their local authority, the scope for taking any action is very limited, even where the cost of accommodation is met from the public purse.
“People who are receiving rent supplement from the HSE for example, can act with virtual impunity, and there is sanction whatsoever that the HSE can take against those responsible, to tackle the problem.
“There seems to be no legislation or regulation that facilitates an intervention by the funding agency, which given the hundreds of millions of public funds that is spent in this regard, is ridiculous. We need legislative change to address this anomaly.
“Anti-social behaviour is a complex problem, and it can only be tackled on a multi-faceted basis. Gardai, the schooling system and the local community all have their part to play, but we cannot expect local councils and other housing authorities to make a significant contribution if they have one hand tied behind their back,” he said.