NIHE will evict ‘anti-social’ families if chaos continues

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The Housing Executive will evict parents whose children are found to have been persistently involved in anti-social rampages in areas of Londonderry.

The authority says it won’t hesitate to take robust action against tenants who refuse to work with it and other members of the community.

The Housing Executive warning comes after an increase in the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour being reported in the Leafair and Galliagh areas of the Cityside.

Large groups of young people have been congregating on estates and causing serious disruption.

The Housing Executive has already written to a number of its tenants in the city regarding anti-social behaviour by young people.

It has reminded tenants that they are obliged to adhere to the conditions of tenancy and there are a number of sanctions that they or members of the household could face if they are found to be in breach of those conditions.

Avril McAllister, the Housing Executive’s West Area Manager, said: “We will take robust action against those involved in anti-social behaviour.

“We take anti-social behaviour very seriously because we know the impact that it has on all of our tenants, including elderly and the vulnerable.

“Where there is evidence that tenant’s children have been responsible for anti-social behaviour we will move to initiate sanctions.

“Whilst the Housing Executive is committed to working with vulnerable families and identifying support for parents, if anti-social behaviour continues then the ultimate consequence is eviction.

“We work successfully with local community groups and will continue to do so and we are confident that together we will identify avenues to resolve the current issues,” she added.

The Housing Executive also works with statutory agencies including the Council’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to tackle issues in the community.

A spokesperson for the Council said: “The Community Safety Wardens will continue to have a presence in these areas, especially at weekend nights and will report incidents of anti social/community behaviour to relevant authorities.

“The council is committed to working with our community and statutory partners to deliver safer, shared and confident communities for all.”

The Housing Executive has developed a range of early interventions to deal with anti-social behaviour, including the use of warning letters, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and referrals to its mediation service.

In serious cases of ASB and where early interventions have failed to stop the unacceptable behaviour, the Housing Executive has a range of legal powers at its disposal including injunctions and repossession orders.

The local housing authority has used the repossession mechanism in the past in Londonderry.

For example between March 2009 and 2010 more than 350 cases of anti-social behaviour were recorded by the Housing Executive in Londonderry resulting in 50 repossessions.

Anyone experiencing problems relating to anti-social behaviour should contact the Housing Executive on 03448 920 900