The Community Sustainment Unit formerly known as the Estate Management Unit was reorganised and strengthened in late 2019. The unit now comprises of a Senior Community Sustainment Officer and four Community Sustainment Officers and each of these Officers have responsibility for specific areas within the Metropolitan and Municipal Districts of the Council.
The aim of this unit is to ensure that residents of Council estates, young and old, can live their lives free from interference or nuisance, and in an attractive physical and social environment.
The Community Sustainment Unit provides a service, which connects with people in the communities, where people are known to officials and where their issues are clearly understood. It is a service where trust is established and maintained through good communication. Making effective enforcement by the Council and all other state agencies as visible as possible is recognised as an integral part of Community Sustainment. The officers will encourage and support members of the community to engage with the Council and other relevant authorities and agencies, and to become actively involved and acquire a sense of “ownership” of their estates.
The Community Sustainment Unit is comprised of three main strands: (i) Estate Support (ii) Individual Tenant Support and (iii) Tenancy Enforcement/Anti-Social Behaviour.
The Council has a particular interest in promoting good estate management practices and community empowerment and achieves this in partnership with its tenants and others through resident’s committees. It provides supports with a view to improving quality of life and developing community spirit within Council estates. To this end, the Unit works closely with existing residents’ associations and encourages the formation of new such groups, supporting the implementation of key actions identified by them to improve their estates. The support provided varied from assistance in provision of minor infrastructural works such as fencing, walls, signage etc. to softer measures such as committee skills training, contributing towards clean-up days, events for children etc.
In addition to one to one engagement with individuals, An Estate Residents Representative Forum, comprising of officers from Residents’ Committees based across the metropolitan and municipal districts, meets twice a year to interact with each other and with relevant council staff.
Individual Tenant Support
The Community Sustainment Team also has the capacity to engage with individual tenants who, arising from particular circumstances, may require particular support or mentoring. Other agencies or organisations may also be required to assist and the Housing Welfare Officer assesses this on a case-by-case basis. In addition, there is monitoring of individual tenancies that may require particular attention to prevent problems occurring.
Tenancy Induction training is provided for all newly-appointed tenants. Among other things, the terms of the Letting Agreements which are signed are clearly explained so that the obligations of both the tenants and, indeed, the Council are clearly understood.
Tenancy Enforcement/ Anti-Social Behaviour
The Council, as housing authority, is committed to taking appropriate action to prevent, reduce, and respond to incidents of anti-social behaviour and, indeed, general breaches of tenancy, that occur within its estates. To this end, it works in close co-operation with An Garda Siochana and other statutory agencies, both on a case by case basis and, also, on a general policy level, through regular meetings.
The full legal definition of anti-social behaviour is contained in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997, as amended, and includes such things as:
- Drug dealing
- Threats & Intimidation
What can the Council do about Anti-Social Behaviour?
There are strong legal powers available to tackle persistent offenders, including eviction from homes and securing excluding orders from areas against persistent offenders.
Within the overall Community Sustainment Team, there is a team dedicated to tenancy enforcement issues and contact can be made by telephoning Customer Services on 061-556000, or by using 24 hour Freephone hotline, 1800 283 064.
Contact can also be made in writing addressed to:
Community Sustainment Unit
Housing Support Services
Limerick City and County Council Headquarters
It should be noted that, generally speaking, anonymous complaints are not investigated, but all contacts are treated with the utmost confidentiality and the identity of complainants will not be divulged to third parties, except with their consent.