Northern Ireland

Homelessness

Key points

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Graph 1: Over time

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Graph 2: By family type

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Graph 3: By reason

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Definitions and data sources

As well as being a serious problem in its own right, homelessness is also a symptom of wider problems about the lack of availability of suitable, affordable housing.  In particular, a person can be homeless - in the sense of not having a home of their own - without lacking a place to stay altogether ('roofless').  Rather, a person is homeless if either they have no legal right to occupy their accommodation or if they have no place that is reasonable to continue to occupy.  As a result, homeless people live in a wide variety of circumstances: some are roofless, but others - the great majority - live temporarily with friends or relatives.

The first graph shows, over time, the number of households who presented themselves as homeless in the stated year, with the data split between those with and without dependent children.

The second graph shows, for the latest year, how the proportion of households presenting as homeless varies by household type.

The third graph shows, for the latest year, how the proportion of households presenting as homeless varies by reason.

The data source for all the graphs is Northern Ireland Housing Statistics.  Note that the data is for those presenting as homeless, not those subsequently accepted as being homeless.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  While there is no reason to believe there is any problem with the underlying data, its does not include many single people who are effectively homeless, as local authorities have no general duty to house such people and therefore many do not apply.

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