Our eight ASKS to local politicians to help end homelessness in NI

by | Apr 27, 2023 | News

Northern Ireland is currently experiencing a homelessness crisis, as highlighted in the latest housing and homelessness statistics from Department for Communities (DfC). On December 1 2022, over 25,600 households on the social housing waiting list had homelessness status. In 2022, over 15,600 households presented to the Housing Executive as homeless. Just under 7,000 children were accepted as homeless as part of households presenting as homeless.

To address the homelessness crisis this society is facing, we are calling on local politicians to support those who are most vulnerable in our society. Working with our member organisations, we have drafted a manifesto containing eight key asks from local politicians in the lead up to the local elections on 18th May. The eight proposals focus on how local councils can help prevent and alleviate homelessness here

Our Public Affairs and Policy Manager, Mark Baillie, said:

“We are asking political parties to adopt eight proposals in their manifestos for the local election next month. Our key asks are in the areas of planning, consultation, and coordination. Our proposals, if they were adopted and implemented, would make a positive difference for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Northern Ireland.

One of these asks concentrates on using planning powers to address the overwhelming need for new social and affordable housing to be built.  It is unacceptable to have 44,500 households on a social housing waiting list. These figures are shocking and too many households in Northern Ireland are clearly unable to access good quality, affordable housing that meets their needs. In the upcoming local elections, we need parties to commit to positive policies and funding which will help this society provide a better response to the homelessness crisis we are currently facing.

Homeless Connect passionately believe that it is possible for this society to take the journey to end homelessness. To achieve that goal, we need every level of Government pulling in the same direction. Local councils need to play their part. We hope political parties here will show the leadership we need to see to take us on the journey to seeing an end to homelessness once and for all.”

The eight ASKS…

  1. Ensuring local government services assist in homelessness prevention
  • Commit to conducting an audit of council services to assess how councils already contribute to homelessness prevention and to consider further actions that councils can take in this area.
  • Appoint a homelessness prevention lead in each council
  1. Ensuring people with lived experience of homelessness are at the heart of policy development and the design of services which impact them
  2. Using planning powers to ensure new social and genuinely affordable housing gets built where it is needed
  3. Enforcing the measures outlined in the Private Tenancies Act 2022 to protect tenants
  4. Including the homelessness sector in policy development and marking the work it does
  5. Using the powers of the Housing Council to drive forward positive change
  6. Supporting and learning from the Complex Lives Project
  7. Working with Policing and Community Safety Partnerships to ensure police adopt a compassionate response to people experiencing homelessness

Read more about our eight asks in the Homeless Connect Local Elections Manifesto.









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