In recent weeks the Department of Communities published the latest edition of its Housing Bulletin for October to December 2022. This bulletin contains some of the latest figures on housing and homelessness in NI across a range of areas.
Homelessness Presentations and Acceptances
The latest figures show that there has been a small rise in the number of households presenting to the Housing Executive as homeless in October to December 2022 compared to the same quarter in the previous year. 3,411 households presented between October to December 2022, compared to to 3,369 the year before, an increase of 1.2%. The number of presentations however remains lower than it had been in the same quarter between 2017-2020.
The number of households accepted as homeless fell from 2,167 households in October to December 2021 to 1,937 in the same quarter in 2022, a fall of 10.6%.
In 2022 as a whole, 15,622 households presented as homeless while 9,660 households were accepted as homeless. This compares to 16,031 households presenting as homeless in 2021 (a fall of 2.6%) and 10,416 acceptances (a fall of 7.3%).
Throughout 2022, 32.8% of households presenting were single males (5,121 households); 17.2% were single females (2,687 households); 4.1% were couples (645 households); 31.3% were families (4,893 households); 13.7% were pensioner households (2,140 households); and 0.9% were undefined (136 households).
In terms of acceptances, 24% of households accepted were single males (2,326 households); 17.5% were single females (1,686 households); 4% were couples (385 households): 37.7% were families (3,636 households); and 16.8% were pensioner households (1,621 households).
The Social Housing Waiting List
The social housing waiting list marginally fell over the last quarter. However, the number of households deemed to be in “housing stress” has continued to rise. In September 2022, 44,532 households were on the social housing waiting list. This fell to 44,519 in December 2022, a fall of 0.03%. The number of households in housing stress, which is any household which has 30 or more points for the purposes of the social housing selection scheme, rose from 32,153 to 32,371, an increase of 0.7%. Applicants who have been assessed as having homelessness status are included in the category of households in “housing stress” as they are given 70 points for the purposes of the selection scheme.
The numbers in housing stress have increased in nine local council areas across NI since September while the social housing waiting list rose in six of the eleven local council areas.
On March 31 2017, the social housing waiting list figure stood at 36,198. In almost six years since, this has grown by 8,321 households, a growth of 23%. The numbers in housing stress on the other hand stood at 24,148 in March 2017. This figure has grown by 8223 households since then, a growth of 34.1% since then.
You can find the full statistics here.
Mark Baillie is Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Homeless Connect