Residents protest at Housing Executive offices

Residents of the Altananam and Broombeg estates in Ballycastle held a protest at the offices of the Housing Executive in the town.

The protest was designed to highlight the unfair allocation of houses which one resident described as “immoral and unjust”. It took place on Thursday morning at 9:30am outside the Executive’s premises on the Coleraine Road.

Around 40 people held a ‘good natured’ protest in an attempt to have Senior Management in the region address the concerns of the local community. Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane and several community leaders met with Housing Executive officials over the last two weeks to address issues around anti-social behaviour, drugs and what they described as unfair allocation of Housing Executive properties.

Councillor Mc Shane said: “It is important that the local community have an opportunity to have their voices heard and I would commend residents for turning out in large numbers at such short notice.

“While I would commend the work of the Executive locally, a professional organisation who has interacted well with local communities, I feel questions are being asked around the effectiveness and the responsibilities of the organisation in implementing its legal obligations at senior level.

“The concern for those who worked over the last ten years to address problems in areas like Altananam is obvious. While everyone should enjoy the basic rights to accommodation they cannot be used to undermine the rights of those who want to live in peace.

“There can be no hiding the fact that the points system that is used to allocate social housing is both antiquated and open to abuse.”