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Shelter NI

Four decades after Shelter NI was formed, the housing situation in NI could not be worse. The number of households on the waiting list in need of high quality, secure, affordable, social housing including families with and without children who are homeless is a clear statement of the failure of successive Governments to act.

Because we don’t have many people sleeping on the streets, homelessness has become invisible. Invisible homeless people who find a temporary solution by staying with family members or friends, living in squats or other insecure accommodation. Invisible homeless people who are not entitled to state support and have nowhere to live. Invisible older people who need support and adaptations to their homes to prevent them becoming homeless. Invisible households who struggle to pay rents which are unaffordable trying to avoid becoming homeless.

For those thousands of homeless households who are registered, the lack of affordable housing to rent often means spending long periods in places designed to be temporary. This semi-permanent living provides no basis for a stable home environment or for creating sustainable communities.

Politicians know that homelessness is an extreme form of social exclusion, resulting in multiple inequities in housing, education, health and employment and causing long term impacts on the quality of life of our citizens.

It is time to act to end homelessness and poor quality housing.

View the full report here