Updated: 20 Oct 2018
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Homelessness in 2017/2018
In 2017/2018 the number of households presenting as homeless fell from 18,573 to 18,180. This is a small decrease of 2%.
Those accepted as having Full Duty Applicant status decreased from 11,889 to 11,877 over the year.
50% of these applicants are single, which remains the highest category of applicant.
The top three reasons for homeless presentations continue to be sharing breakdown/family dispute, accommodation not reasonable, and loss of rented accommodation. Overall, 59% of presenters are in these categories.
Over the course of the past year we have provided total funding of £37.3m for homeless services across Northern Ireland, including:
- £5m on temporary accommodation, including DIME (Dispersed Intensively Managed Emergency)
- £1.8m for storage of personal belongings
- £2.4m on outside agencies in the voluntary sector
- £0.5m on private sector access schemes
- £27.6m on Supporting People funding of homelessness services
The Homelessness Strategy 2017-22 was published in April 2017, and over the course of 2017/18 work has been ongoing to achieve the Year 1 actions within the Strategy.
The new strategy sets out our vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ and identifies a number of aims and objectives to achieve this.
The strategy aims to ensure a cross-departmental and inter-agency approach to ending homeless.
The objectives within the strategy are:
- to prioritise homelessness prevention
- to secure sustainable accommodation and appropriate support solutions for homeless households
- to further understand and address the complexities of chronic homelessness
- to measure and monitor existing and emerging need to inform the ongoing development of appropriate services
The strategy contains 18 actions, which includes 16 led by the Housing Executive and a further two actions led by the Department for Communities.
Notable highlights over 2017/18 include the development of 10 Homelessness Local Area Groups across Northern Ireland.
These groups are tasked with ensuring that the objectives of the strategy are delivered at a local level and include statutory/voluntary representations with a view to achieving our vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’.
A training pack and communication strategy has also been developed, with a view to ensuring households who are threatened with homelessness are aware of the support and assistance available at the earliest possible opportunity.