What happens when the state deprioritises social housing? | Freedom of Information Archive | PPR

What happens when the state deprioritises social housing?

2023 closes with unprecedented numbers of households on the waiting list, including at least 18,496 children growing up officially homeless Right to a Home | Thu Mar 14 2024

A comparison of Northern Ireland Housing Executive waiting list data from past years shows a steady increase in housing need across the north. At the end of 2023 there were an unprecedented 46,461 households on the social housing waiting list, including at least 27,233 children under 18.

Overall, 28,614 households – between them including at least 18,496 children – passed all four tests for homelessness, known as Full Duty Applicant or FDA, at end 2023. This is a 33% rise on March 2021 child homelessness levels, when there were at least 13,906 under-18s growing up in FDA homeless households.

How high will the figures have to go before the authorities prioritise building social housing? According to a recent press report, the Social Housing Development Programme received funding to build around 1,500 social homes this year, despite having asked for funds for 2,000.

It’s clear that we need to do things differently.

The Take Back the City campaign, which brings together people directly impacted by homelessness with planners, architects and urban designers, has been developing plans for 750 homes and space for businesses at a vacant publicly owned site in west Belfast, an area with among the highest housing need in Northern Ireland (for more on Belfast’s housing data, see here). To read more about the process, see the plans and express your support for them, visit Rezone Mackie’s! | Take Back the City