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Charity Responds to Funding of Homelessness Action Plan

19 May 2021

Simon Community welcomes the £9m investment by the Communities Minister, believing that it will be put to immediate and practical use by the Housing Executive and homelessness service providers to help cushion the short-term issues of homelessness brought on by COVID in 2021, including the provision of emergency accommodation.

However, it must be noted that this funding is not recurring or linked to the current Supporting People budget, which is already running behind after years of no uplift. In addition, Housing Executive statistics show that the ability to provide services to those who become homelessness is barely meeting demand and that – very worryingly – need will increase considerably in the coming years.

Our worry is that while short-term issues of COVID-related homelessness are addressed, the longer-term and more expensive problems relating to mental health and addiction will be left unfunded and will become matters of priority in 2022 and beyond.

We agree wholeheartedly with the Minister’s comment that addressing homelessness will take a concerted effort across sectors and hope to see a commitment in funding and strategic decisions that will see the issue responded to correctly in the coming years.