Homelessness in Northern Ireland

Homelessness in Northern Ireland

21 November 2017


Between 2012 and 2017 homelessness in Northern Ireland cost the public purse around £300 million. The number of households designated as statutory homeless increased by 32 per cent over this period with nearly 12,000 households accepted as homeless in 2016-17.

This report examines the scale and nature of homelessness in Northern Ireland and focuses on how effective the NIHE’s Homelessness Strategy 2012-17 has been in addressing this issue. Findings include:

NIHE was unable to fully demonstrate the impact of its work in reducing homelessness;

  • weaknesses in analysis, interpretation and presentation of the data that NIHE collects leading to a lack of evidence to explain local trends and why statutory homeless acceptance rates are higher in Northern Ireland than in other UK jurisdictions;
  • datasets and statistics published by the Department are less comprehensive than those published in other jurisdictions;
  • homelessness is more than a housing issue. There are a growing number of vulnerable households with increasingly complex needs (such as mental health and drug and alcohol issues) seeking support;
  • NIHE has been slow to adopt a Housing Options preventative approach for homelessness;
  • evidence of considerable joined-up working across the public and third sector; and
  • more needs to be done to break down silos to ensure that tackling homelessness is a strategic priority for the Northern Ireland Executive as a whole.

To read the Full Report, Executive Summary, Key Facts or Media Release please follow the links.