Markets Resident faces Homelessness as a Result of Sisters Death


IRSP Activist Michael Kelly (left) with Gerard Carville


A resident of the Markets area of South Belfast has been told that he is homeless following the recent death of his sister.

Gerard Carville had been caring for his seriously ill sister at the home they shared in Cromac wood from January until her passing only weeks ago.

The property is owned by Radius housing. The tenancy had originally been agreed by Gerard’s sister some years ago. Gerard immediately informed Radius of his sister’s death and of his intention to remain at the property at the time of her passing.

Unfortunately Radius housing then issued Gerard with a demand to vacate the property and return the keys to them within 3 weeks. As Gerard’s sister had failed to officially inform Radius of Gerard’s cohabitation of the property he is not listed as a tenant. The lady was seriously ill. Adding an adult non-dependent to a rent agreement, aside from hassle would have led to further financial hardship on the ill-woman and thus it stands as an understandable omission.

Gerard is a respected resident. Radius explained that Gerard may be entitled to remain at the property should he be able to provide them with proof of residency that dates back 12 months. Gerard refuses to engage in dishonesty and has explained to Radius that he lived there as his sisters carer for almost 10 months only. He has provided adequate proof of this from security staff based at the complex as well as several legal documents.

The I.R.S.P has informed Radius that we support Gerard’s right to remain at his home of ten months. We have advised Gerard to retain the keys of the property and also to deny any request from Radius demanding he vacates the property. Radius staff have thus far been reasonable with I.R.S.P activists and we are confident that a sensible resolution may be reached.
For the public record we wish to make our position clear. Gerard Carville and his family are already mourning the loss of a loved one. The last thing they need is a threat of homelessness being made against Gerard. Gerard has done nothing wrong and he should not be made suffer further for his sister’s death. We appreciate that bureaucracy makes demands upon people but we also understand that  pedantic obligations are often the least of a dying woman’s concerns. The I.R.S.P will support Gerard Carville’s right to retain his home and pledge to resist any attempt at revoking his right to a home.
We take this opportunity to ask that Radius housing reflect deeply on all extenuating circumstances which exist around this very sensitive issue. Compassion, empathy and understanding will go a long way in finding a positive and permanent resolution to this issue.