Rough sleeping

Tackling Rough Sleeping in Belfast: Street Needs Audit

The Housing Executive and partner organisations have regularly monitored rough sleeping in Belfast. In past years it was found that the number of people sleeping on the streets on any given night was in single figures.

In recent years, however, a growing number of people can be found sleeping rough on the streets of Belfast city centre.

In November 2018 the Housing Executive carried out rough sleeper street counts in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Newry. Rough sleeper estimates were carried out in all other areas across Northern Ireland in line with methodology used in neighbouring jurisdictions. The rough sleeper street counts and estimates identified a total of 38 rough sleepers across Northern Ireland and the report below provides a summary of key facts and figures on the methodology used and the support that is available to rough sleepers.

Tackling Rough Sleeping in Northern Ireland – Key facts and figures (PDF 575 kB)

In 2015/16, the Housing Executive in partnership with The Welcome Organisation, Depaul and Belfast City Centre Management commissioned a Street Needs Audit to understand the reality of street homelessness and rough sleeping in Belfast.

The purpose of the Street Audit was to:

  • establish how many people were sleeping rough in Belfast city centre  
  • engage with individuals to assess their accommodation needs
  • assist individuals to return to their accommodation including referral to the most appropriate support services
  • identify any barriers to service entry
  • help us redesign our homelessness services
  • ensure we have suitable crisis and outreach services
  • help ensure we make most effective use of resources

The Street Needs Audit, carried out over an extensive 12-week period, enabled us to identify and target specific interventions toward a group of very complex individuals, and will form the basis for comparative analysis in the future.

The full report can be downloaded below.

There is also a 4-page version with key facts and figures.

Homelessness strategy