Violence and the sectarian divide has left many struggling to find a home. Families have resorted to squatting in the Belfast area of Twinbrook.

Twinbrook in West Belfast was planned as a model community where Protestants and Catholics would live side by side. Now, one in every five homes are occupied by squatters. What is more, nearly all of the 1,700 homes are occupied by people who began life at Twinbrook as squatters.

Community worker Lilian McManus is all too familiar with squatters having begun her life at Twinbrook in the same situation as many of her clients. 

Families really have no other option at the moment but to squat.

Lilian McManus sees the squatting situation as a side effect of The Troubles which created a snowball effect. Many families on the housing waiting list saw no hope of being housed and as a result became squatters. 

There's a general kind of sympathy for squatters in the area.

While people were sympathetic to squatters at first, many now view it as queue jumping. Squatting also places a strain on families who feel that they do not really have a permanent home until they are legal tenants.

The McCartney family should have been living in their own home by now. Before they married five years ago, they saved the deposit on a house in East Belfast. However, the house was destroyed in a riot before they had even moved in. With no place to go, they squatted briefly on the Lower Falls Road. With no other option, they jumped the queue and took possession of a house in Twinbrook. Squatting has now become part of their lives but they are hopeful that they will become legal tenants.

The McCullaghs, a family of six children, moved into Twinbrook last year. The house had been boarded up and since they moved in, they've been told that it's slowly sinking. If the family can repay the outstanding arrears, they will have a chance of obtaining a proper rent book from the Housing Executive. 

In both Protestant and Catholic areas, squatter's houses tend to stay in squatter's hands. Friends or relations move in before authorities even know a house has been vacated.

A 'Newsround' report broadcast on 12 November 1978. The reporter is Cathal MacCoille.