Updated: 10 Feb 2016
During 2014/15, the number of households presenting as homeless increased from 18,862 to 19,621, representing a 4% increase overall. The number of households deemed to be homeless after investigation also rose from 9,649 to 11,016. The main reasons for homelessness included breakdown in family relationships, unreasonable accommodation, loss of rented accommodation, neighbourhood harrassment, mortgage default, domestic violence, intimidation and release from hospital or prison.
The impact of the recession and a lack of affordable housing present significant challenges in addressing homelessness. Our homelessness strategy published in May 2012 is now operational and the Promoting Social Inclusion Homelessness Partnership, which brings together a wide range of agencies, has been meeting regularly to commence implementing the actions contained in the strategy. The overarching aim is to eliminate long term homelessness and rough sleeping across Northern Ireland by 2020.
The Housing Amendment Act 2010 came into effect on 13 April 2010 and included a statutory requirement for the Housing Executive to produce a homelessness strategy every 5 years. One of the stipulations of the new Act is that the other statutory agencies will be required to take into account the homelessness strategy in the implementation of their own functions.
In response to the new statutory duty to produce a homelessness strategy, our strategic approach remains focused on addressing the issues that lead to homelessness as well as meeting the temporary and permanent accommodation needs of those who present as homeless.
If you or anyone in your family is concerned about becoming homeless we are here for you. We can give you advice and help you get accommodation and support.