A public consultation is underway on the Housing Executive’s new Chronic Homelessness Action Plan, with public meetings planned in venues across NI.
Beginning on June 19, the first consultation event takes place at the White Horse Hotel in Derry/Londonderry, with a second event on June 20 at the Junction in Dungannon.
A final event will be held in Belfast’s Crumlin Road Gaol on June 21 to give members of the public and those working in the housing and homeless sector a chance to have their say on the plan.
Colm McQuillan, Director of Housing Services at the Housing Executive, said; “This is the first action plan of its type across the UK, and seeks to address the wider issue of chronic homelessness rather than only focusing on the specific issue of rough sleeping.
“Over the last number of years, the number of households presenting as homeless to us has remained broadly static in terms of numbers.
“However, many of those presenting to us as homeless are dealing with much more complex issues in their lives than in previous years.
“We define Chronic Homelessness as a group of individuals with very pronounced and complex support needs who find it difficult to exit from homelessness.
“The action plan sets out what we intend to do, with the support of our partners in the statutory, voluntary and community sectors, over the course of the next three years, to address chronic homelessness and provide support to those experiencing it.
“Our Chronic Homelessness Action Plan forms part of our current Homelessness Strategy, Ending Homelessness Together, which runs until 2022.
“It contains objectives and actions which will improve our understanding of chronic homelessness across Northern Ireland, take action to prevent it an, where this is not possible, provide appropriate support to minimise the impacts of chronic homelessness and find sustainable solutions as soon as possible.
“This consultation process proves that we’re listening and responding to the views of the homelessness sector, that more needed to be done to address chronic homelessness.”
Consultation documents, as well as response forms, are available online at nihe.gov.uk/Working-With-Us/Partners/Consultations.
The deadline for responses is August 2, 2019.