Abandoned unit block faces an uncertain future  

TEN months ago, this North St Marys complex was home to young adults who had struggled to enter the private rental market or wanted to live close to work.

Now, the abandoned complex faces an uncertain future and has become a neighbourhood eyesore.

The Star was recently alerted to the boarded-up complex in Griffiths Street, which has been vacated, neglected, is accessible to anyone and poses a high vandalism risk.

One neighbour hopes the complex would be knocked down and rebuilt or done up for tenants willing to look after it.

Rewind to April 2012, when Londonderry MP Bart Bassett attended a reopening of the renovated 12-unit complex for under-25s.

The Housing NSW complex was managed by Nepean Youth Accommodation Service (NYAS) and Wentworth Community Housing, which helps tenants with developing living skills.

NYAS community and business development manager Colin Berryman said Housing NSW granted a short-term lease which was due to expire last September.

He doesn't blame authorities but said the complex was a "lost opportunity".

"The property could have been really good but it needs a lot of money to be spent on it," he said.

"In this case, the department may have had other plans for it."

Housing NSW referred our queries about the North St Marys complex to the Department of Finance and Services (DFS), which has been responsible for the property since July 2011.

The Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) is the site owner, while Housing NSW manages tenancy services for LAHC properties.

A DFS spokesman confirmed the complex was leased to a community housing provider until last November.

All power has been switched off, all units are boarded up and secure, and a recent inspection has shown no evidence of squatters.

All unauthorised access of the property can be reported to NSW Police.

Questions about asbestos concerns over the fibro complex were unanswered.

NYAS clients living in the complex were found alternative accommodation.

What should be done to this property? Comment at stmarysstar.com.au or join the conversation on the St Marys-Mt Druitt Star Facebook page.

THE Star's FACEBOOK fans had this to say about abandoned properties:

They are extremely dangerous! Not to mention an eyesore. Sharon Rudd

They can give it to me if they want. Naomi Lewis-Hammond

Disgraceful. Makes us look we live in a slum. At least pull them down and leave the land vacant until they decide what to do. Karen Edmunds

Let the homeless stay there! Joanne Brennan

Why isn't it fixed up and other tenants living there. Hopefully one that will look after it. Annette Cudlin

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