By Kieran Hughes

The Housing Executive has taken possession of a property in the New Lodge in response to complaints about severe anti-social behaviour.

On June 6, the Housing Executive went to court and secured an Order for Possession of the property in Oisín House, one of the seven high rise flats in the area.

The order was granted on the grounds of proven unacceptable behaviour by the tenant, which included loud music, parties and abusive behaviour. The order requires the occupant to vacate the property.

The action comes after growing concerns about the increased levels of anti-social behaviour at the towers.

Earlier this year in an unrelated incident 24-year-old Dee Corr died after being stabbed in Cúchulainn House and in 2011 alone 17 of the 26 of the registered cases of anti-social behaviour in the New Lodge area were for the Seven Towers flats.

Malachy McKinney, the Housing Executive District Manager for North Belfast, said repossession is a last resort.

“The Housing Executive takes the issue of anti-social behaviour very seriously,” he said.

“By undertaking this course of action we are attempting to offer protection to victims and reassurance to communities that anti-social behaviour and nuisance will not be tolerated and that every individual is entitled to live in peace within their neighbourhood.”

He said the HE have a number of remedies to tackle anti-social behaviour including formal warnings, mediation or Acceptable Behaviour Contracts.

“Where agreement cannot be reached or where early interventions fail, such as this case, we will not hesitate to use legal measures including, as a last resort, the repossession of a property.”

He said they will continue to work closely with communities to ensure that anti-social behaviour does not take hold.

“However, to be truly effective in challenging this behaviour we need people to come forward and report incidents as and when they occur. Unless we know about such incidents, we cannot tackle them. I would, therefore, urge anyone who has experienced or witnessed incidents of anti social behaviour to come forward and report it to their local district office or the PSNI so that action can be taken.”

against those responsible.”

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