Joanna Byrne Welcomes Choice Based Lettings

The Choice Based Lettings Scheme for allocation of Social Housing will come into effect on Tuesday 16th May 2017.

All housing applicants will be issued with letters from the housing department of Louth County council from Monday 8th May 2017 informing them of the new system and issuing them with a username and password.

Regular Transfer Tenants will not be issued with username and passwords.

They will be considered for any vacant housing prior to properties being advertised on the CBL system but HAP tenants on the HAP Transfer list will receive login details the same as regular housing list applicants.

Any vacant properties will be advertised weekly on Tuesday mornings at 10.00am and housing applicants will have until 12.00am the following Monday night to submit an Expression of Interest.

We as Public Representatives of the county will have access to this site to see what houses are available for letting on a weekly basis to inform and assist our constituents.

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne and Chairperson of The Housing Strategic Policy Committee for Louth welcomes the implementation of Choice Based Lettings for the County.

Cllr Byrne said: ” I welcome the implementation of the CBL process in Louth. This process will not have a dramatic impact on reducing the numbers on waiting lists, the government still need to invest in the supply of more social housing, it will however speed up the allocation process for any stock that becomes available ”


Louth Sinn Féin ask For Public Help to Identify Vacant Houses

joanna-byrne-1With the housing crisis in County Louth at critical point Sinn Féin have launched a new campaign targeting vacant and abandoned homes and are asking the public to get involved.

Drogheda Councillor Joanna Byrne said “There are over 1,050 families on the housing list in Drogheda as of the end of December with another 435 on the transfer list. It is woeful to see vacant or boarded up properties lying idle while there are families in need of a home.”

“What I am asking is that if there is a vacant/abandoned property in your community, please let us know and we can pass all that information onto the relevant department in Louth County Council. The Council can try and take possession of the property through Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and hopefully it will become a family home.”

“The area will also benefit as vacant/abandoned properties can detract from an otherwise nice street or community. They can give a ‘run-down’ look to an area and attract vermin or anti-social elements.”

If you know of a vacant/abandoned property in your area please email the full address to:

Cllrs Pearse McGeough and Kevin Meenan will be leading the same campaign in Mid-Louth and Dundalk respectively.

Cllr Joanna Byrne opposes giving The Chief Executive the power to evict council tenants

joanna-byrne-1At October’s monthly Local authority council meeting, Cllr Joanna Byrne – Chairperson of Louth’s Strategic Policy Committee, opposed a motion put to the councillors worded:

“That this council supports a change in legislation which would grant the Chief Executive the power to evict council tenants (who are known to be causing frequent and extreme anti-social behaviour against their neighbours) on the word of a Garda Superintendent.”

Cllr Byrne pointed out that “there is a current Anti-Social Behaviour strategy with procedures of warnings before legal action to evict a tenant, this policy was drafted by the Housing SPC and adopted by the council. We also have a full time ASB Investigation officer within the county, both put in place to deal with the issues outlined in this motion.”

Commenting Cllr Byrne said:

“Whilst I recognise ASB is a contentious issue raised with Councillors on a daily basis, and it is an undeserved endurance for neighbouring tenants, I do not believe that this power should be given to any one person be it our Chief Executive or any other Chief Executive on other councils. These situations are the reason we have policies and procedures in place.”

Cllr Byrne said “Should the SPC need to review certain elements of this policy then that is what we will do. But it does not take away from the fact no God-like power with such severe consequences on families, which could include children, be bestowed on any one individual. We need a multi-agency approach with LCC, An Garda Síochana and other housing bodies all working together to tackle these issues. As pointed out by our Director of Services for Housing today there are currently only 172 ASB complaints on the system from a housing stock of 3975 in the county. 60 of these were unfounded complaints with no further action required so the need for a change in legislation in my opinion, at this given time, is unwarranted. We are there to protect the rights of all our constituents and work with and guide them to comply with Housing policies in place. Evictions are life changing decisions that will not only affect said culprits, but also their partners and children in most cases and should be only considered as an extreme last resort!”

Scarlett Development Given Go Ahead – Cllr Joanna Byrne

Joanna Byrne Council PicSinn Féin Cllr Joanna Byrne and Chairperson of Louth’s Housing Strategic Policy Committee is pleased that a controversial housing development on the site of the former Fire Station on Scarlet Street has got the green light from council members.
While some local residents are opposed to the development of 15 units,  at a special meeting of the Borough District of Drogheda held yesterday afternoon following the County’s full council meeting they were told that a number of modifications were being made to help alleviate local residents concerns.
The building is being moved by half a metre further away from properties in Sienna and officials also said they can accommodate the boundary changes requested.

Cllr Byrne said: “I feel the right decision has been made to proceed with this project and was happy to push it forward. Whereas I have met with the residents in question and do recognise their concerns , the town of Drogheda is at an all time high with the level of applicants on the social housing list sitting today at 2215. We are the only district in the county with an increasing amount of applicants with mid-Louth and Dundalk both reducing in numbers. With only five live projects currently planned for construction within the town, one of them being this development in Scarlet Street the onus was on us as councillors to give this the green light and support the building of badly needed Social Housing.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne Calls For Dumping to Cease

Joanna Byrne Council PicSinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne has called on Louth County Council to address the growing trend of illegal dumping on St. Laurence’s Park Green.

Following complaints from several distressed residents of St. Laurence’s Park, Cllr Byrne brought the issue of a growing trend of illegal dumping in the estates green area to the attention of Louth County Council.

The recent weeks have seen the situation escalate from rubbish bags being dumped, which are in turn ripped to shreds by cats and dogs, but now people are physically wheeling their bins directly onto the green areas and emptying them. There is an increasing fear amongst residents that this rubbish will in turn lead to fires which could cause damage to the surrounding area.

After speaking to some residents over the weekend Cllr Byrne said
“There are a few areas of concern on this particular issue, there is of course the obvious issue of the eyesore of the dumping itself, the environmental implications of this action and also the risk of in time youths starting fires. The area involved is in the vicinity of a children’s playground and local children have the right to play in safety.

I have contacted the council and have asked them to act as a matter of great urgency and I am now calling on them to immediately tidy up this area as it is a main walk through between Moneymore and the St. Laurence’s Park & Drive area. I have also asked them to monitor this as ongoing situation before it escalates.”