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18 May, 2021 Open access

Northern Ireland Communities Minister announces £9m additional funding for the region’s homelessness response to Covid-19

Minister says fully funded ‘Covid Reset Plan’ aims to build on successes of collaborative response to the pandemic to end homelessness

The Northern Ireland Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced a £9 million investment to fully fund the Housing Executive’s Covid Reset Plan on homelessness in 2021/2022.

Bringing the total budget for homelessness in Northern Ireland for 2021/2022 to £46 million, the Reset Plan - The Way Home: Homelessness response to COVID-19 - provides a framework to build on the progress towards ending homelessness achieved through the region's coordinated response to address the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic, that has included multi-agency and Departmental collaboration between the Departments for Communities and Health, Public Health Agency, Police Service, Probation Board, and Housing Executive.

Announcing the funding today, the Communities Minister said -

‘The £9 million for the Reset Plan, will enable the Housing Executive to continue to deliver the public health response and ensure that every effort is taken to engage with individuals on the street to offer them somewhere safe to stay. It will also ensure emergency accommodation is offered to all.

The Department will be working proactively, with others across government, to prioritise action to improve our response to homelessness, to focus on prevention rather than management.

Addressing homelessness will take a concerted effort across sectors. We see each year that its causes vary from relationship breakdown, unsuitable accommodation, eviction from a private landlord and health issues including addiction and mental illness.’

For more information, see Homelessness action plan fully funded - Minister Hargey from ni.gov.uk