Concern as pensioner ‘evicted’ from Newtownabbey property

Police officers were present in Rathfern.
Police officers were present in Rathfern.
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The Housing Executive has confirmed a man was “evicted” from one of its properties in the Rathfern area yesterday morning after a court ruling declared he did not have legal tenancy.

It follows concern in the community over the operation during which police were in attendance.

In a statement on Rathfern Social Activity Centre’s Facebook page, the community group said it was present at the “eviction” scene of a man in his 80s, where there were “representatives from the Housing Executive, PSNI, contractors and removal vans”.

The group added: “This is wrong in this day and age.”

In response, a spokesperson for the housing body said: “Housing Executive evictions are very rare and only happen as a last resort solution, and only when every avenue to resolve the situation has been exhausted.

“As a housing authority we must make the best use of our housing stock.

“In this case, there was a court ruling that the individual, a single man, should leave the three bedroom property in Newtownabbey as he does not hold a legal tenancy.

“This property will be allocated to a family on the waiting list who need a home.”

The PSNI confimred they also attended the scene.

Inspector Gilbert said: “Police were in the vicinity this morning to, if required, assist the staff of the Enforcement of Judgements Office. Police support was not, in fact, required.”