Our Homelessness Strategy

The Housing Executive became responsible for addressing homelessness in Northern Ireland in 1989.

In 2010 a legislative duty was placed on us to formulate and publish a strategy for homelessness. An extensive range of other agencies consider and take into account our homelessness strategy when planning their own functions.

Ending Homelessness Together – Homelessness Strategy 2022-27

On 23rd March 2022 the Housing Executive published ‘Ending Homelessness Together – Homelessness Strategy 2022-27’. The vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ reflects a continued need for the Housing Executive to work with our partners across the sector to address the varied an complex factors that lead to homelessness, many of which extend beyond the provision of accommodation.

At the core of this strategy there are a number of guiding principles that will underpin our approach to both the development and delivery of homelessness services throughout its lifespan. These principles, which are outlined below, have been co-produced with the wider homelessness sector and will be incorporated across each theme to achieve our vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’.

  • Person Centred

  • Evidence Based

  • Partnership Working

  • Expert Led

  • Responsive

  • Innovative

  • Delivering Value for Money

Objectives of the strategy

We aim to achieve the following three strategic objectives:

  • Prioritise homelessness prevention; 
  • Address homelessness by providing settled, appropriate accommodation and support; 
  • Support customers to transition from homelessness into settled accommodation.

This strategy will evolve based on experiential evidence, emerging pressures and priorities. It is our intention to work towards the defined success criteria outlined in this document by developing the ‘enablers’ and pulling all levers available to us. These enablers are as critical to the success of the strategy as the delivery of the objectives themselves. Relevant actions will be included in the Annual Action Plans to reflect key actions associated with the enablers below.

  • Experiential Evidence
  • Collaboration
  • Legislation
  • Interdepartmental Approach
  • Funding
  • Staff
  • Process

The strategy uses an outcomes-based approach, with three outcomes that aim to make an impact upon the lives of those affected by homelessness.

These outcomes are:

  • we have support that prevents us from becoming homeless;
  • we live in suitable homes;
  • we have the support we require to access and/or sustain a home.

You can find further information on the aims, objectives, vision and outcomes in the Homelessness Strategy 2022-27 and Year 1 Action Plan which are available below:

For any further queries on the Homelessness Strategy please contact homelessness.strategy@nihe.gov.uk

Homeless to Home: Strategic Action Plan for Temporary Accommodation 2022-27

This Action Plan was developed in consultation with key stakeholders as part of the Housing Executive’s Strategic Review of Temporary Accommodation project, which was conducted with the goal of assessing how effectively the current temporary accommodation portfolio meets the needs of customers experiencing homelessness.

The vision of the Housing Executive’s Homelessness Strategy 2022-27 is ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ and the aim is that ‘Wherever possible homelessness should be prevented, if homelessness cannot be prevented it should be rare, brief and non-recurring’. The second objective of the Strategy is to effectively address homelessness by ensuring customers receive accommodation and support at the point of need. Delivery of this action plan to transform temporary accommodation will directly support the achievement of this key objective of the strategy.

What will success look like?

This plan sets out how we will transform our temporary accommodation responses over the next five years. It has been designed by working backwards from four indicators of success:

  • Minimised need for temporary accommodation

  • Customers receive appropriate accommodation and support at the point of need

  • A sustainable supply of good quality, affordable temporary accommodation which is safe, warm and well-managed

  • Customers moving on from temporary accommodation sustain their tenancies

You can download Homeless to Home: Strategic Action Plan for Temporary Accommodation 2022-27, which includes Year 1 actions, below.

Ending Homelessness Together - Homelessness Strategy 2017-22

The Housing Executive new Homelessness Strategy, published in April 2017, provides strategic direction on how we will address homelessness from April 2017 to March 2022. The Strategy was developed in partnership with a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies who sit on the Central Homelessness Forum, which acted as a consultative body in the development of the new Homelessness Strategy.

The Homelessness Strategy 2017-22 has a vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ and reflects the key role that other statutory and voluntary partners have to play, particularly in preventing homelessness.

The Homelessness Strategy 2017-22 continues the focus of previous strategies on homelessness prevention and aims to ensure we avoid people reaching a point of crisis. There are many opportunities for a range of agencies through the provision of advice, assistance and support to intervene at early stages and stop a household reaching the point of crisis and the vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ reflects the partnership working that is at the core of our Homelessness Strategy.

The Annual Progress Reports outline the progress in delivering the Strategy during 2017 – 2020.

You can read more about our objectives in tackling homelessness, and how we approach the problems and causes of homelessness in this section.

Reset Plan: The Way Home

The Housing Executive has adopted a co-ordinated response to address the impacts of COVID-19 on homelessness in Northern Ireland. The actions taken since early March 2020 have mirrored much of our existing strategic commitments but the pandemic has forced faster progress on key fronts.

We need to protect this progress while also considering the wider strategic impacts, and have published a Reset Plan that sets out a framework to do this.

The plan can be downloaded below.

Chronic Homelessness Action Plan

Chronic homelessness is the most severe type of homelessness. It can affect any household type - from individuals to large families. It can have many effects, including rough sleeping or street activity.

Homelessness is difficult for anyone who experiences it. To deal with it effectively we need to find out how long and how severe the experience has been for the variety of people who are homeless. The Chronic Homelessness Action Plan considers those who are experiencing it.  The Plan identifies a group of individuals with complex support needs who find it difficult to escape from homelessness. It was developed in response to feedback from the individuals and groups active in the homelessness sector. 

The Homelessness Strategy Steering Group is an interdepartmental and multi-agency group. It is responsible for delivering the Strategy. In March 2018 we made a commitment to this Group to develop an Action Plan.

Older People