NIHE under pressure over ‘weakness’ in homelessness approach

A damning new report from the Northern Ireland Audit Office has hit out at the Housing Executive’s work on homelessness.

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A new report into homelessness in Northern Ireland has been released by the NIAO.

The report particularly focuses on the work the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has conducted to reduce homelessness.

It says the “NIHE was unable to fully demonstrate the impact of its work in reducing homelessness”.

The report highlights how £300m was spent on homelessness over a five-year period, with an increase of 42% in those accepted as homeless in the same period.

The report also hits out at the “weakness in analysis, interpretation and presentation of the data the NIHE collects”.

They say this leads to a lack of evidence when explaining local trends.

The NIAO add it is “why statutory homeless acceptance rates are higher in Northern Ireland than in other UK jurisdictions”.

There are also calls for an improvement in data and statistics, calling them “less comprehensive” than other parts of the UK.

The department note that housing is more than just a housing issue and encompasses those with mental health and drug and alcohol issues.

The report advises that “more needs to be done to break down silos” in order to ensure tackling homelessness is a “strategic priority” for the Executive as a whole.

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