Belfast Telegraph

High in homeless cases over paramilitary and sectarian threats

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

The number of people being forced from their homes due to sectarian intimidation is at a five-year high.

New figures have revealed that in the past year there were 411 cases of people notifying the Housing Executive they were homeless due to paramilitary and sectarian threats.

The previous year there were 303 such cases, according to the housing body. The figures were obtained by the Guardian.

Raymond McCord, whose son was murdered by the UVF, told the newspaper he believed the true figures for those forced to flee may be three times higher.

He claimed that in many cases police were reluctant to sign forms apportioning blame to paramilitary movements that are officially on ceasefire. The forms are required before authorities buy property from those under threat.

Mr McCord said this was a particular problem for those who owned their homes and were therefore not included in the Housing Executive figures.

Responding to the claims, police said: "The criteria has been set at a high level and in reaching a determination, PSNI takes care to consider all relevant information and applies the criteria fairly and consistently.

"The assistant chief constable for operational support makes a security assessment based on confidential information held by local police regarding reports made by individual applicants."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph