Belfast Telegraph

Scheme to avoid homelessness 'risks collapse'

By Staff Reporter

Factors including a lack of funding and the introduction of Universal Credit could lead to the collapse of services to prevent homelessness, it's been claimed.

The Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) said member organisations had helped deliver more than 1,500 new social homes over the last year.

But chief executive Ben Collins has told the NIFHA finance conference that its support structures could collapse if "urgent" issues are not addressed.

He said: "With more than 24,000 people in Northern Ireland in urgent need of suitable accommodation, including over 11,000 families officially designated as homeless, the need for a safe and secure place to call home has never been greater."

But he said funding for accommodation-based services had been cut by 5% during the year. And Mr Collins said that the effects of Universal Credit - a single benefit which is replacing other benefits such as housing benefit - meant that some tenants were facing hardship and falling into arrears.

Belfast Telegraph

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