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Posted on Tuesday 24 June 2014 by Ruairí McVeigh

Homelessness has become an increasing problem in Northern Ireland. It is not only described as living or sleeping on the streets. Homelessness can affect anyone, anytime for a number of reasons. Even if you have a roof over your head you may still be considered homeless. You may be homeless if you are:

  • Sleeping on the streets
  • Staying with family or friends
  • Staying in a hostel
  • Staying in a Bed and Breakfast
  • Living in very overcrowded conditions
  • At risk of violence if you stay at your home
  • Living in poor condition that are damaging your health
  • Living in a house that is unsuitable for you

Charities are increasingly dealing with new homeless people who have been living comfortably until struck by job loss, family break-ups or other such crises.   Researchers say that the majority of people in Northern Ireland are at most two pay cheques away from being homeless.

A total of 4,271 households presented as homeless to the Housing Executive during October to December 2012. This was an increase of 396 (9%) compared to the same quarter in 2013. In 2012 – 2013 there were 19,354 households presented as being homeless. The main reasons for this are because the accommodation is not reasonable and sharing breakdowns/ family disputes. (16%)

In the Oct-Dec quarter of 2013 the amount of families presenting as being homeless was 1,382. If we compare this to the figures of the same quarter in the previous year (1,278), we find that this is an increase of 8.13%.

In males aged 26-59 the amount of men presenting as homeless between October and December 2012 was 1,084. Comparing this to the same period in 2013 we can clearly see that there was a huge increase rising to 1,229. This means that there was an increase of 13.4%. In the same quarter of the same year the number of females presenting as homeless increased from increased from 374 to 441. This is a significant rise of nearly 18%.

The total number of homeless households accepted as full duty applicants from April 2011 to march 2012 was 9,021 compared to 9,878 in the following year. This is a huge increase of 9.5%.

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you should contact the NIHE as soon as possible on Tel: 034 4892 0900   

Belfast and South East


Belfast, North, Mid

and East Down Areas

028 9056 5444



Newry and Mourne

028 3083 5000

Armagh & Dungannon

028 3752 2381

Banbridge & Craigavon

028 3833 4444


028 6638 2000

South Tyrone

028 8772 2821



Magherafelt & Cookstown

028 9446 8833



028 8283 3100


Derry, Limavady

& Strabane

028 7134 5171

North East


Co. Antrim and

East Londonderry

028 9446 8833

If you become homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless on the 13th July, you should telephone 028 9024 6111 for all areas in Northern Ireland.

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