A council house in Talbot Green housing estate in Wexford was left in such a state that it will cost €75,000 to make it habitable, councillors have been informed.
Housing officer Helen Meehan told a Borough District Council meeting that the property, which was been lying unoccupied and boarded up for a number of years, will require stripping back to the walls due to contamination.
She said it was expected that the work, including a full refit and energy upgrade, would be completed by October, taking account of holidays and delays, and it would be returned to the housing stock in “excellent condition”.
She said it will cost €70,000 to €75,000 to put the property back in order.
Labour councillor George Lawlor said it was “absolutely sickening” to hear this in the middle of a housing crisis.
“It’s sickening to think it was known by the council for a long, long time the damage that was being done to this house – it wasn’t damage that was done after it was left vacant. Tens of thousands of euros worth of damage was done to that house.
“Here we are in a housing crisis and people are destroying our properties like this. We need to take a hard line on this. Myself and Cllr Hynes were trying to get an extension for a young family, not too far away from this house, and we didn’t have the resources to do it.
“And we have to spend all this money to repair the damage that was carried out in plain sight for years and neighbours terrorised and having to put up with despicable behaviour. I think it’s sickening to sit here and hear that. We shouldn’t tolerate it. There is no way we should be put in that position particularly when he have a housing crisis.”
Cllr David Hynes said it wasn’t for want of complaints by neighbours around the area and by councillors.
“It was gutted and now it has to be virtually re-built.”