Under a new scheme slum areas in Belfast are to be cleared and occupants rehoused in modern dwellings and flats.

The scheme will see the demolition of 14,000 houses over the course of the next few years, completely changing the face of Belfast in the process. 

Ellen Hunter moved from sharing her mother's home, to a new flat in a block occupying the old site of the Victoria Barracks. While her rent is expensive, she feels it is worth the sacrifice, to have her own home.

Harry Diamond, Republican Labour Stormont MP for the Lower Falls, Belfast has taken a deep interest in the slum clearance scheme as it will have an impact on his constituents. 

On one hand he thinks the slum clearance is an excellent idea and necessary, as many of the properties in Belfast are old and require repair. It is essential for the health of the people living there that they are re-housed.

On the other hand he is worried there will be a reduction of density in the city centre which will mean many residents will have to move outside to estates outside the city boundary and, 

Be torn away from all the social contacts which they’ve had over a lifetime.

He also fears there could be a form of discrimination in the selection of tenants and is concerned about the removal of people from this strongly nationalist neighbourhood.

Any reduction in the population in this area, or the removal out of it, could have a serious effect on the political balance in the district.

Isobel Laverty’s family has lived in Carrick Hill Place, one of oldest districts of Belfast since the 1890s. Her mother raised 15 children in a house with one room, a kitchen and an attic. Isobel now lives in this house with her two daughters, her son-in-law and her grandchild. They are being moved to Ballymurphy in west Belfast, but if Isobel had a choice, she would prefer to stay in her family home.

The people who live in these slums will soon be housed in modern dwellings and flats and while this brings progress at the same time to some of the people, who don’t want to move, it also brings heartbreak.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 January 1963.