Residents in some housing estates in Castlebar are terrorised and living in fear because of the anti-social behaviour of their neighbours, and in a number of these cases the perpetrators are housed by Mayo County Council in private residences.
The issue was raised at a Special Meeting of Mayo County Council this week, where councillors called on the local authority to impose a stricter regime on their HAP (Housing Assisted Payment) and RAS (Rental Accommodation Scheme) tenants.
Castlebar Fine Gael councillor Donna Sheridan told the meeting that as a resident in a private housing development in the county town, she has experienced first-hand, listening to fighting on the street, smashing of windows, setting cars alight, loud music and general mayhem on the streets some nights, and she says the problems are ongoing for years.
She also described the terror of many residents who are fearful that they may get caught in the cross-fire of violence among some residents.
Councillors called for stronger, more robust measures to be put in place to deal with such incidents.
Foxford based councillor Neil Cruise said the local authority needs to impose a “three strikes and you're out” rule for troublesome tenants, if the private landlord in receipt of a HAP or RAS payment fails to deal directly with such tenants.
The Special Policy Committee (SPC) on Housing in Mayo is at present drafting new policy and all councillors insisted that complaints by residents over anti social behaviour in estates needs to be investigated by Mayo County Council whether or not the complainant is prepared to give his/her name.
Cllr Sheridan spoke to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley about her own experience and what residents in other estates have told her about anti social behaviour in their areas.....