The Housing Executive accepted responsibility for dealing with homelessness in Northern Ireland in 1989 and since then we have published a number of strategies to address homelessness. The Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 also placed a legislative duty on the Housing Executive to formulate and publish a Homelessness Strategy.
An extensive range of agencies are obliged to take into account our Homelessness Strategy in the exercise of their own functions.
Ending Homelessness Together
The Housing Executive new Homelessness Strategy, published in April 2017, provides strategic direction on how we will address homelessness from April 2017 to March 2022. The Strategy was developed in partnership with a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies who sit on the Central Homelessness Forum, which acted as a consultative body in the development of the new Homelessness Strategy.
The Homelessness Strategy 2017-22 has a vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ and reflects the key role that other statutory and voluntary partners have to play, particularly in preventing homelessness.
The Homelessness Strategy 2017-22 continues the focus of previous strategies on homelessness prevention and aims to ensure we avoid people reaching a point of crisis. There are many opportunities for a range of agencies through the provision of advice, assistance and support to intervene at early stages and stop a household reaching the point of crisis and the vision of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ reflects the partnership working that is at the core of our Homelessness Strategy.
The Year 1 Annual Progress Report outlines progress in delivering the Strategy during 2017/18.
You can read more about our objectives in tackling homelessness, and how we approach the problems and causes of homelessness in this section.
Chronic Homelessness Action Plan
Chronic homelessness is the most severe type of homelessness. It can affect any household type - from individuals to large families. It can have many effects, including rough sleeping or street activity.
Homelessness is difficult for anyone who experiences it. To deal with it effectively we need to find out how long and how severe the experience has been for the variety of people who are homeless. The Chronic Homelessness Action Plan considers those who are experiencing it. The Plan identifies a group of individuals with complex support needs who find it difficult to escape from homelessness. It was developed in response to feedback from the individuals and groups active in the homelessness sector.
The Homelessness Strategy Steering Group is an interdepartmental and multi-agency group. It is responsible for delivering the Strategy. In March 2018 we made a commitment to this Group to develop an Action Plan.