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Council in court over social housing repossession, tenants in five figure rent arrears

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Dundalk Town Hall, Crowe Street. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.

Louth County Council have taken legal action against two social housing tenants in the county over unpaid rental arrears and will appear in court twice this month in a bid to repossess the homes.

Senior Executive officer Aoife Lawler told the January meeting of the Dundalk Municipal District committee that housing staff at the local authority continue to work to put tenants who are in arrears into payment plans but those who are unwilling to make a meaningful effort to reduce their debt risk losing their homes.

In response to a query from Councillor Maeve Yore as to what can be done on a local and national level to help alleviate the issue, Lawler said it was a matter for staff to get people in payment plans but confirmed two repossession orders are pending.

“We are in court with two people this month, people who refused to engage with us,” she said. “We are seeking to repossess the houses. In both cases, they were over €10,000 in arrears. But that’s not the key point – the key point is if they don’t engage with us, don’t stick to their repayment plan, ignore letters, won’t talk to us – we will go to court to repossess the house.”

The council executive also said Halliday Mills, the derelict former apartment complex on Quay Street, may come back online as social housing in 2020.

“Halliday Mills is on our radar,” she said. “It is something we’re looking at it. It looks like it will be social housing by the end of this year. I’ve said that before and things have gone wrong.”

In 2018, the site formerly known as Ard Dealgan, was to be fully refurbished reopen again as Halliday Mills, with 68 units of social housing being made available to those on Louth County Council’s housing list. The building had been purchased by Celtic Social Housing Development and leased to Túath Housing for a 20-year period.

However, that development soon feel through and no work was carried out at the controversial site. It was first closed in 2009 after a Fire Closure Notice was served shortly after it’s build and the first residents had moved into the property. In the intervening years, it has been besieged by anti-social behaviour issues.

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