Mum told: quit job to get house

Erin Doherty, Abbots Walk, pictured with her two sons Caidin and Xavier. (1309SL50) Photo: Stephen Latimer
Erin Doherty, Abbots Walk, pictured with her two sons Caidin and Xavier. (1309SL50) Photo: Stephen Latimer

A Derry mum says she’s been told she may have to give up her job to secure a house for herself and her two children.

Erin Doherty, from Abbots Walk in the Bogside, says she is considering walking out of her job at a local restaurant in a bid to maximise her chances of getting a Housing Executive property.

Ms. Doherty, who’s been on the housing list for more than three years, says she is currently sleeping on the sofa in a relative’s house, where one of her children has to share a bedroom with his grandmother.

She claims she’s been told that the only way to secure the points she needs to get a house is to become unemployed.

Kathleen Bradley, of the Dove House Community Assist Project, said many people are considering giving up their jobs to land a Housing Executive property.

She explained that Ms. Doherty has 160 points on the housing list but requires 180 to stand any chance of getting a house.

“This is the dilemma that Erin is now faced with - work on or be housed,” said Ms Bradley.

At present, Ms Doherty and her two kids - aged one and three - live in a three bedroom Bogside property with their paternal grandmother, two uncles and aunt.

“I sleep on the sofa, Xavier in a cot beside me and Caidin shares a bedroom with his granny,” she said. “It is no way to live.”

See page 7 for full story.