Northern Ireland homeless charity’s benefits warning

5 May 2014

The charity Crisis has warned that homelessness in Northern Ireland could rise because of the pressures on social housing and benefit changes, and it has urged the Northern Ireland Executive to take action to protect the vulnerable.

A study by the charity for single homeless people and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that one in 18 adults had experienced homelessness in Northern Ireland, which equates to six per cent of the adult population. This figure includes those living on the streets and people who have no option but to stay with relatives or friends.

The study’s authors said that homeless figures in Northern Ireland have been at historically high levels since 2005/6, partly due to the collapse of the housing market. They also found that young people, renters, single people and lone parent households were more likely to have been homeless.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: “This report is an early warning signal. It is critical that the Northern Ireland Assembly monitors homelessness and safeguards services in this time of radical change.”