Northern Ireland news

Co Antrim mother-of-four left feeling "hopeless" after delays prevent her moving into new home

Sarah Hall pictured at the new Mill Race View development in Crumlin. Picture by Mal McCann
Marie Louise McConville

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR says she has been left feeling "hopeless" after a series of planning delays has prevented her moving into her new family home.

Sarah Hall, who is registered as homeless, said the impact of continually being told she can't move has had a "devastating" effect on her and her children, two of whom have special needs.

Ms Hall, who has been on the Housing Executive waiting list for eight years, had been privately renting with her family along with her partner.

In February, they were told they had to move out of their home in Crumlin, Co Antrim as the owner wanted to sell it.

It was the second time in a year this had happened.

While she and her four children managed to move in with her parents, her partner had to stay with other family members.

In March, she was offered a new three-bedroom home in a new development, Mill Race View in Crumlin, by Ark Housing Association, and accepted it.

She was due to move in April but this was delayed with the Covid pandemic.

Other dates from June to July to August to mid-September were also put on hold as was a datae for the end of September and now she has been told it has been put back "indefinitely". A number of other prospective tenants have also been affected.

"The whole thing just feels hopeless," she said.

"I can't risk taking my name off this house. I have waited eight years for this.

"We can't do this forever. We are going to have to look for private renting again."

A spokesman for Ark Housing Association said it was "acutely aware" of the impact that the continued delay was having on prospective residents.

"We would also like to apologise for the inconvenience that this delay is causing," he said.

The delays, he said, relate to"a small number of planning technical issues that remain outstanding and which are being proactively worked through by both planning service and the developer in question.

"It is our hope that all outstanding planning matters can be resolved as quickly as possible, and that we are able to confirm a completion date for all prospective tenants as soon as possible," he said.

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