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Rough sleeping

Updated: 20 Feb 2019
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The Housing Executive and partner organisations regularly monitor rough sleeping in Belfast
Belfast City Hall

Tackling Rough Sleeping in Belfast: Street Needs Audit

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

In recent years, however, there has been a growing visibility of people on the streets of Belfast city centre.
Last year the Housing Executive commissioned a Street Needs Audit which was delivered in partnership with the Welcome Centre, Depaul and Belfast City Centre Management to understand the reality of street homelessness and rough sleeping in Belfast. This piece of work will form the basis of comparative analysis in the future.
The Street Audit represents a unique approach in that it was carried out over an extensive 12 week period, which has enabled us to identify and target specific interventions toward a group of very complex individuals.
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;
  • Inform the future reconfiguration of homelessness services including assessing the adequacy of crisis and outreach services and informing commissioning priorities.
The key findings from the Belfast Street Needs Audit are available here (Adobe PDF 871 KB).
The full report is available here (Adobe PDF 807 KB).