Northern Ireland

Court action over south Belfast vested homes

A group of homeowners in south Belfast who are paying mortgages on homes that no longer exist are to have their case heard at a land tribunal.

Their properties were vested by the Housing Executive to make way for redevelopment.

However, they did not get enough in compensation to cover what they still owed.

It is thought that up to 25 people in the Village area are affected.

Under the rules of vesting the Housing Executive only pays the market rate for compulsory purchase.

Because of the fall in house prices, some owners received less than what they paid for the houses.

In some cases, the houses have since been knocked down leaving people paying a mortgage on a property that no longer exists.

The lands tribunal will begin to look at the issue later this month.

The Village area in south Belfast is one of the most deprived in the city, with many houses which have no inside toilets.

In response to these conditions the Department of Social Development earmarked 600 homes for demolition in a large-scale urban regeneration scheme.

They will be replaced by about 250 modern houses.

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