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New Scheme to help homelessness

Published: Fri, 13 Jun 2014
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NIHE Homelessness Strategy at Skainos Centre, Belfast
Homeless Strategy launch June 2014
Launching a new Private Rented Sector Access Scheme to help people who find themselves homeless, the Housing Executive set out its agenda today on how it will transform people’s lives by tackling homelessness over the next three years.
It will break down the barriers in the private rented sector by removing the need for rent deposits and  provide vulnerable homeless people with housing options in the private sector that are affordable and of a good standard.
Speaking at the conference, Mags Lightbody, Acting Chief Executive of the Housing Executive said:
“The new Private Rented Sector Access Scheme is an important addition to the range of housing options that will be needed to achieve the aims of the Housing Executive’s Homelessness Strategy and opens up a whole new housing opportunity for vulnerable homeless people.
“Homelessness affects some of the most vulnerable people in our society and we are committed to making sure we are providing the best service possible in order to transform people’s lives. People who are homeless are vulnerable; their needs  can be complex and we recognise that no one agency can provide a complete solution to all their needs. The Housing Executive has a lead role in working with a host of support agencies to help people who find themselves homeless.
“All agencies need to work together to deliver the right solutions for homeless people. We have brought together today those organisations that are best placed to help us deliver our vision to see long term homelessness and rough sleeping eliminated by 2020. We want to refocus attention on the homelessness agenda and listen to our partners on how to deliver our Homelessness Strategy better and in a more dynamic way. Steady progress has been made to date on the delivery of the Strategy including today’s launch of Smartmove Housing’s Private Rented Sector Access Scheme.”
Ricky Rowledge, Director of the Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland, who also spoke at the event said:
‘'Homelessness providers welcome the commitment of the Housing Executive and the Department for Social Development to refocus on the Homelessness Strategy. We believe this will bring renewed energy, provide a more robust mechanism to include the aspirations of homeless people and the expertise of those who support them.  Most importantly, it will provide better opportunities for interagency working, as a joint approach is the only way to ensure our success. We look forward to working together.”