Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Family kept apart by lack of Bangor housing

A lack of three bedroom Housing Executive homes in Bangor is forcing Talitha Proctor and her son Jack to live separately from partner and father Gary McMullan
A lack of three bedroom Housing Executive homes in Bangor is forcing Talitha Proctor and her son Jack to live separately from partner and father Gary McMullan

The Housing Executive has admitted that there is a lack of three bedroom family properties in Bangor.

It follows the case of a 23-year-old Bangor mother who has been forced to live separately from her baby's father due to the lack of Housing Executive homes in the area.

Talitha Proctor, from Innishargie Gardens in Kilcooley estate, told The CT she has been living in a one bedroom flat for the past five years.

When she became pregnant 13 months ago she and her partner, Gary McMullan, applied for a three bedroom house so they could live together as a “proper family unit”.

However, under the current scoring system Talitha received 22 points, around 100 points short for a near immediate move to her requested property.

At present Gary, who also lives in a one bedroom flat a short distance away, looks after two children from a previous relationship at the weekend.

Speaking to The CT, Talitha said: “I am a young mother with a four month old baby and have been on the housing list in Bangor since I became pregnant over 13 months ago.

“I have been a Housing Executive tenant for over five years, I am a socially well behaved tenant and pay full rent for my small upstairs one bed-room flat that I cannot call my home.

“Despite this I currently live separated from my partner in a one bedroom upstairs flat with our baby as there are no houses available for us to live together as a proper family.”

Letters from her general practitioner, health visitor and local MP Lady Sylvia Herman to Housing Executive management including chief executive Paddy McIntyre, all pleading her case, have so far fallen on deaf ears.

In a statement to The CT, the Housing Executive said that the demand for three-bedroom houses was very high and that “unfortunately” there were very few suitable properties available in the Bangor area.

“Any that become available are allocated in accordance with the Housing Selection Scheme and are likely to be allocated to waiting list applicants with higher points than Miss Proctor,” a spokesman said.

“We also consider transfer applicants on a regular basis when making allocations, and we will continue to consider Miss Proctor’s application when properties that are suitable to her needs become available.

“It is difficult to give an indication of when suitable permanent accommodation will become available, however, we will continue to work with Miss Proctor to try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

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