Belfast Telegraph

10,000 present as homeless in Northern Ireland in six months

Nearly 10,000 people presented as homeless. (Victoria Jones/PA)
Nearly 10,000 people presented as homeless. (Victoria Jones/PA)

Almost 10,000 people presented as homeless between April and September last year, a new series of government statistics has revealed.

From April to September 2018, 9,673 households presented as homeless in Northern Ireland.

Of those 70% or 6,818 met the legal definition and were accepted as statutorily homeless.

As of January 2,065 households were living in temporary accomodation.

The figures come from the first Northern Ireland Homelessness Bulletin published by the Department for Communities (DfC), Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

The statistics do not include those sleeping rough. A study published last year by the Housing Executive revealed there were 16 people sleeping rough one night in November.

The main reason people presented as homeless was because they considered their accommodation not reasonable.

Other reasons included the breakdown of a sharing arrangement or a family dispute and the loss of rented accomodation.

The top types of temporary accommodation include private single lets, voluntary sector hostels and Housing Executive hostels.

Belfast was the area with highest amount of homeless presenters with 8.6 per 1,000. Derry City and Strabane was next with 7.1 per 1,000.

The NIHE are responsible for dealing with homelessness in Northern Ireland and have a duty to provide interim and/or permanent accommodation for certain homeless households, dependent upon investigations and assessment of their circumstances.

"Homelessness is often understood as people living on the streets. However, whilst rough sleepers may represent one element of homelessness, it is a misconception to think that these are the only homeless people who need help," the bulletin said.

"Even those who have a roof over their heads may still be considered homeless."

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