APG on Homelessness Holds First Meeting in New Mandate

Wed, 08 Jun 2022 | News

Mark Baillie with members of the new All-Party Group on Homelessness at Stormont

The All-Party Group on Homelessness was re-formed on Tuesday 7 June 2022 for the new Assembly mandate.

Thirteen MLAs from six political parties have joined the group which will be focused on driving forward positive change to prevent and reduce homelessness here.

The group plans to hold evidence sessions with Executive Departments, statutory agencies, representatives of the homelessness sector and service users to consider how this society can best support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

The reconstitution of the group is especially welcome in the midst of an ongoing cost of living crisis which is placing an increasing number of Northern Ireland households at risk of destitution and homelessness.

Ciara Ferguson MLA was elected as Chair of the new All-Party Group while Kellie Armstrong MLA was elected as Vice-Chair.

Ciara Ferguson MLA, Chair of the All-Party Group on Homelessness said:

“Everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home.

“This is not the reality for too many people living here and we must work together to change that and tackle homelessness.

“The All-Party Group on Homelessness will play a positive role in bringing MLAs from all parties together to discuss how we can collectively seek to prevent and reduce homelessness here.”

Kellie Armstrong MLA, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Group on Homelessness said:

“The reformation of the All-Party Group on Homelessness is particularly welcome as this society goes through a cost-of-living crisis. Many families are struggling while costs for energy, fuel and food continue to rise and rise. Some are on the precipice of falling in to destitution and homelessness.

“Government here needs to act strategically to shift our response to homelessness from reacting to it after it happens to a proactive approach to prevent it. It is my hope that the APG will play a valuable role in driving forward the positive change we need to see.”

Nicola McCrudden, Chief Executive Officer for Homeless Connect, who provide the secretariat to the group, said:

“We are pleased to see the All-Party Group on Homelessness reformed in this new Assembly mandate. With the Assembly not currently fully operational, we believe that this group can play an invaluable strategic role in providing a forum for Assembly members to discuss how we as a society can take the journey to end homelessness. We look forward to working with members in the months ahead.”

13 MLAs have agreed to join the new All-Party Group: Andy Allen, Kellie Armstrong, Robbie Butler, Gerry Carroll, Mark H Durkan, Ciara Ferguson, Diane Forsythe, Harry Harvey, Cara Hunter, Nick Mathison, Gary Middleton, Áine Murphy and Aisling Reilly.

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