IRSP oppose Eviction in the Lower Falls.
On Wednesday the IRSP in the Lower Falls were contacted by a single mother in the area and told that she was to be evicted by the Housing Executive due to arrears that occurred on her rent through no fault of her own. The young working mother has attempted to pay back the arrears to the best of her ability. Despite this and with the NIHE not willing to negotiate they attained a court order and have said that Court Enforcement Officers and the PSNI will be sent to evict the mother and child from the property.
Our Lower Falls Representative Michael Kelly had this to say, ‘’The IRSP met with the individual and we managed to set her up with legal advice. We have also mobilised our members, supporters and the community to be ready at a moment’s notice to protest against the eviction when/if it happens. The Lower Falls is an area that already suffers from a high level of poverty and social deprivation, this threat of eviction is not only an attack on this community but an attack on the Working Class as a whole’’
Today we have been informed that an eviction under very similar circumstances was carried out in the Shankill last week. We are under no illusion that this is a calculated trial run by the NIHE to normalise these evictions in our working class areas. Let us be clear, the IRSP under NO circumstances will allow these evictions to be normalised in our communities, and we will fight them tooth and nail.
IRSP representative Ciarán Cunningham who is not new to dealing with these housing issues has said that, ‘’with the upcoming future cuts such as Universal credit we could be about to witness a huge increase in these attempted evictions and this belief has been backed up, as since highlighting this case on social media we have been approached by dozens of families who are facing the same situation.’’
For many years the IRSP have been involved in the housing issue across Ireland. Every citizen has the right to a home, and our policy is that any public body such as the Housing Executive’s sole purpose should be to work on behalf of the community in order to deliver a high standard of social housing for all. The NIHE should not be working on behalf of private developers or private landlords whose only intention is to increase their bank balances. No public body that is funded by the taxpayer has the right to throw any citizen out onto the street, it is morally wrong and completely unacceptable.
This is an attack on the working class and this situation has developed due to the cuts that have rained down on us by the Tory Government in Westminster signed for by Stormont. These public cuts have been introduced in order to plug a hole in the government’s finances caused by the capitalist crash in 2008. This economic terror does not distinguish between religion and race; this terror will affect us all. This austerity monster will throw children, parents and grandparents out onto the street without having a second thought, and we MUST oppose it.
The IRSP will continue to monitor the situation and have our members, supporters and the wider community ready at a moment’s notice. We would like to thank the local and wider community for their fantastic support on this so far, but we ask them to remain extremely vigilant as this will only be the beginning of it.