Mixed housing estates on the way…

THE Housing Executive is going to have a bash at providing mixed residential areas. At present, an estimated 90% of Housing Executive tenants live in segregated areas, thanks to the polarising effect of the Troubles. Social engineering, or providing choice where a demand exists?

  • If it was successful it would be a superb step forward; the interesting spin on this is the electoral effect it will have on the areas so where the dividing lines were plain to see before, and Nationalists and Unionists had their own constituencies (that only changes if one side or the other expanded across rather than dispersed amongst it) now we may see previously solid areas become shakey ground for either side…

  • The Beach Tree

    In theory, of course, providing mixed housing where there is a demand is a very good idea.

    But I vaguely recall Rathcoole was once seen as ‘mixed’, and it didn’t last.

    Still, I wish it well. Whatever helps, and all that.

  • Rubicon

    Good luck to the Executive with this. I think it’ll have a better chance of success if they choose sites that allow social as well as religious mixing. Suggest the next NIHE sites should follow Moore Homes!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Rathcoole (and other places like Twinbrook) were more of an attempt as social engineering.

    If the HE can successfully promote the concept that mixed estates are a good thing, and hence create demand for them that can be fulfilled, then this is a fine idea.

    The only possible downer is that it seems to add legitimacy to the concept that non-mixed estates are legitimate. If you can request to be housed somewhere mixed, it follows that you could request to be housed somewhere non-mixed. Ick.

  • Have they organized an Orange stomp fest through it yet?

  • gg

    Rubicon

    “Good luck to the Executive with this. I think it’ll have a better chance of success if they choose sites that allow social as well as religious mixing. Suggest the next NIHE sites should follow Moore Homes!”

    Indeed. Locating social and private housing in close proximity has been proven to have a positive effect on the social housing. It reduces anti-social behaviour and leads to positive upkeep of those areas. Add mixed housing and it’s a win-win situation.

    However, I do hope one ‘side’ does not start to encroach.

  • Crataegus

    I am very interested in this one and hope it is a roaring success.

  • pete

    The Garvaghy road was mixed once upon a time, until my granda and other prods living there started getting bricks through their windows.

  • PaddyReilly

    O dear, I’ve known more than a few embittered ex-residents of ex-mixed housing estates/ villages/ towns in my time. If this is to work, I would suggest that no-one gets a house there who is not mixed to start with: A Catholic married to a Protestant, or someone whose parents were one of each, or a Hindu or something. When the majority is established as such, it might be safe to allow a few one-footers in, but watch them.

  • Rubicon

    Paddy – you may have known some people with bad experiences but there are also others with good ones. I lived in a nationalist area while in a mixed marriage. I’d no problems from the locals – me or my wife.

    We left with a sense of regret but a much improved understanding. This was pre and post ceasefire – not the best of times and in a ‘front-line’ area regarding where the ‘troubles’ were targetting people at that time.

    It’s not the only experience I’m sure – but sometimes positive ones are assumed bsent unless they are said.

  • don

    “But I vaguely recall Rathcoole was once seen as ‘mixed’,”

    It still is mixed.

    uvf & uda !!

  • a sweet left foot

    This was tried in Antrim in the seventies but there is now near complete polarisation.
    There is one estate which may be considered ‘republican’ with a very small r. and possibly two other estates with a healthy cross community mix which leaves seven, of the larger HE estates leaning towards the loyalist side of the fence.
    The estate in which I grew up was approximately 30-40 percent ‘nationalist’ but now has two twelfth bonfire sites and several loyalist paramilitary murals, not to mention the painted kerb stones and tattered remnants of loyalist flags adorning nearly every lamp post.
    Most ‘nationalist’ families were intimidated over a long period of time and left. There are several of the other estates with this history in the town.
    To be quite honest the loyalist paramilitaries are welcome to their delapidating fifedoms but I feel genuinely sorry for the decent neighbours we left behind. Many said they were fearful of reprisals if they were seen to offer support but seemed aware of the possible consequences for the community in which they were being left behind in.

    I don’t hold much hope for the HE. When I look back , most of the houses vacated following incidents of intimidation were occupied by the families, friends or like minded people to the local henchmen.

    Most of the private residential areas in the town which see a healthy nationalist/unionist split experience little or no trouble and would appear to be pleasant enough to live in. But the town itself remains an intimidating place for ‘nationalists’ to socialise in.

    I hope the HE chose their proposed site for this ‘experiment’ wisely.

  • aquifer

    “several loyalist paramilitary murals, not to mention the painted kerb stones and tattered remnants of loyalist flags”

    All likely to be on publicly owned property. Free advertising for ethnic cleansers, courtesy of the NIO, who cannot afford a cherrypicker or a tin of concrete grey paint due to expenditure cuts, but can find the money to re-house hundreds.

    Some electronic surveillance of forensics to identify those polluting our social environment is obviously too much to ask for. Can’t imagine this situation if the free advertising were pro islamicist terrorism though. 9/11 Jihad rule OK?

    Americans take their flag down at sunset, ‘loyalists’ let it rot.

    Says the lot.