Homelessness

Updated: 20 Oct 2018
Homeless hostel in Ballymena
Homeless hostel Ballymena

For help and advice on homelessness

If you or anyone in your family is concerned about becoming homeless, we are here for you. We can give you advice and help you to get accommodation and support.

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

Homelessness strategy

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.