A suspicious package was found at the back of a flat in Glenmore Walk on Monday.
Local people were evacuated as police carried out investigations.
They were returned home just after 1am when the item was found to be a hoax.
Paul Givan of the DUP said it is "outrageous" that people were forced out into the cold.
"There can be no justification for leaving this device," said the Lagan Valley MLA. "It is threatening the lives of people and causing disruption to local residents particularly elderly people.
"It is outrageous that, in this freezing weather, they were forced to be moved from their homes to the nearby civic centre whilst the police dealt with this situation.
"Anyone with information about the incident should help the police."