Homelessness Presentations and Acceptances
The figures released show that the numbers presenting to the Housing Executive as homeless remains comparable to the number of presentations during the same period last year.
Between June and September, 4,042 households presented to the Housing Executive as homeless. This was similar to the figure for the same quarter last year, when 4,038 households presented. The number of households accepted as homeless fell from 2662 households in July to September 2,021 to 2,310 in the same quarter in 2022. In the last year, 15,531 households presented as homeless while 9,279 households were accepted as homeless.
The Social Housing Waiting List
The social housing waiting list and the number of households in “housing stress” has risen since the previous quarter. In June, 44,229 households were on the social housing waiting list. This rose to 44,532 in September 2022, an increase of 0.7%. 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 31,663 to 32,153, an increase of 1.5%. 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 every local council area across NI since June while the social housing waiting list rose in seven of the eleven local council areas.
It is worth considering the picture from further back as well. On March 31 2017, the social housing waiting list figure stood at 36,198. In the five and a half years since, this has grown by 8,334 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 8005 households since then, a growth of 33%.
Behind these figures are real people with hopes and aspirations. Thousands of households are living in temporary accommodation waiting for suitable accommodation to become available. On May 1 this year, 8497 individuals were in temporary accommodation in NI. Other households will be living with friends and family in informal and insecure arrangements with all of the anxiety and stress that comes with that. The growing social housing waiting list has very real consequences for households in need of housing and for wider society.
Homeless Connect, working with our members and statutory partners, will continue to strongly advocate for the change we need to see to bring these figures down.
You can read the full statistics here.
Mark Baillie is Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Homeless Connect