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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Rights Responds to NIHE Consultation on the Draft Chronic Homelessness Action Plan

Housing Rights has responded to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s (NIHE) Draft Chronic Homelessness Action Plan consultation.

The draft action plan was approved by the Housing Executive's board in February 2019 and has been subject to a 12-week consultation process. 

First Action Plan dedicated to chronic homelessness in the UK

Housing Rights strongly welcomes the development of an Action Plan specifically dedicated to Chronic Homelessness, which is the first of its kind in the UK. It is our view that this Action Plan could have the potential to become the ‘go-to’ document on how best to respond to chronic homelessness within the UK. Housing Rights was therefore pleased to contribute a number of suggestions which we hope will be of use to the NIHE when amending and refining the existing proposals.

Housing Rights’ Response

Housing Rights’ response includes the following key themes:

  • Ensuring the Action Plan focuses specifically on chronic homelessness.
  • Informing the development of the Action Plan through meaningful service-user engagement.
  • Reviewing the operationalisation of certain Housing Solutions and HOME Team processes.
  • Ensuring Protocols are adhered to in practice and monitored effectively.
  • Introducing a statutory duty to co-operate on each of the statutory bodies named in s6A (5) of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1988.
  • Issues with using the Private Rented Sector to provide long term accommodation for people experiencing chronic homelessness.
  • Adopting and defining a Housing First approach.
  • Reviewing Out of Hours provision.
  • Addressing issues regarding exclusion and eviction from temporary accommodation.

Final Version of the Chronic Homelessness Action Plan

The NIHE will now commence analysis of the consultation responses submitted with a view to publishing a final version of the Chronic Homelessness Action Plan in November 2019.

Tagged In

Policy, Homelessness

This article was written on 12 August 2019. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.