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Housing Executive Homelessness Review – Our View

09 August 2016

Simon Community Ending Homelessness 300X134

The homelessness review commissioned Housing Executive and the development of an inter-ministerial group on the issue is welcomed by Simon Community Northern Ireland. However we have concerns about the rush to develop a new homelessness strategy within the year, given that the Programme for Government is not yet agreed.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the review of the current homelessness strategy was a result of 5 deaths on the streets of Belfast this year. The current strategy aims to eliminate long term homelessness and rough sleeping by 2020, but the feedback from the evaluation will be used to implement a new strategy by April 2017.

Simon Community NI presented a response to the Draft Programme for Government last month, believing strongly that the inclusion of homelessness as a standalone issue is needed in the final document.

Jim Dennison, Simon Community NI Chief Executive said, ‘We have been calling for some time for a joined up, strategic and properly resourced plan to end homelessness here. It is very unclear as to how this can happen without a single reference to homelessness in the Programme for Government. Ending homelessness does not appear be a priority for government.’

To read the full article in the Belfast Telegraph, click here..