Looking back... Rathcoole watchdog threatens action over rent increase

Rathcoole Tenants’ Association, the watchdog body in the Housing Trust estate, was to organise a protest march to Stormont in early 1961.

Politicians were to be presented with a petition signed by householders in all the trust’s 21 estates objecting to an automatic rent increase imposed on moving to another Housing Trust property.

The petition called on the government to reconsider the policy.

Robert Kidd, chairman of Rathcoole Tenants’ Association, said that the rent increases were to cover the trust’s newly-built property.

He pointed out that rents would rise for all tenants if the trust was to build new and better houses for Belfast Corporation.

Mr Kidd reported hardship suffered by tenants as a result of rates increases.

He quoted one man who said that he had not been able to afford to buy a new suit since he moved to Rathcoole, seven years previously.

He went on to say that the cost of rent coupled with the cost of travelling to work in Belfast meant severe hardship for some families.

He warned that a mass withholding of rent payment was an option which may have to be considered.