PAC slams Northern Ireland’s record on care for the homeless

    Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) failed the homeless
    because it was too complacent, according to a House of Commons
    Public Accounts Committee report, writes Shirley
    Kumar
    .

    Homelessness in Northern Ireland has risen 50 per cent since 1999
    making it the highest in the UK. There were “some
    extraordinarily insensitive mismatches between homeless
    persons’ special needs and the accommodation provided,”
    revealed the report.

    Families and others were forced to spend on average 97 days in
    B&Bs – three times the Government’s target.
    “This shows a disturbing degree of complacency about meeting
    statutory duty towards some of the most vulnerable people of
    society,” the report says.

    NIHE has now vowed to make homelessness a priority and is
    benchmarking its performance against other housing services. A
    homelessness management information system introduced in September
    2003 will also allow it to implement and monitor measures from its
    homelessness strategy.

    Housing the Homeless Report:
    www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmpubacc.htm#reports
    .

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