Council for the homeless Northern Ireland

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Belfast office:  4th Floor, Andras House, 60 Great Victoria St,  Belfast, BT2 7BB  |  Tel: 02890 246440  |  North West office: Unit 15, Rath Mór Centre, Bligh’s Lane, Derry, BT48 0LZ  |  Tel: 02871 366363


We are grateful to those who support our work, including the NI Housing Executive. This site is kindly hosted by domain devils



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You are currently on Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland’s web homepage - welcome!


Founded in 1983, we are the umbrella organisation representing those working with homeless people throughout Northern Ireland. We are the independent voice of the sector.

welcome to chni online

housing & homelessness advice

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youthspeak

CHNI FareShare

how can we help you?
call us: 02890 246 440, or email us Mail: info@chni.org.uk?subject=query from website





train with us




We offer a number of training and professional development opportunities, including accredited programmes and bespoke delivery.


Upcoming training is listed in the box to the right. For all training information, click on the links below.


upcoming training / events

►Regional Service User Network annual conference  |  Thursday 26 March 2015  |  Spires Conference Centre  |  starts 9:15am  |  programme.

►Managing Risk and Risk Assessment | Weds 11 March 2015  |   for info / to book, go to: core training calendar   

►Protection of vulnerable adults | Weds 18 March 2015  |   for info / to book, go to: core training calendar   

►Benzodiazepines workshop | Weds 4 March 2015  |   for info / to book, go to: core training calendar   

►2 day WRAP facilitation programme  |  Fri 13 & 20 Feb 2015  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar   

►New psychoactive substances  |  19 Feb 2015 | for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►Engaging service users |  Weds 4 Feb 2015 |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►Developing Support Plans |  Tues 3 Feb 2015 |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►2 day WRAP facilitation programme  |  Fri 23 & 30 Jan 2015  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar   

►Naloxone  |  Thurs 22 Jan 2015  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►Naloxone - train the trainer  |  Mon 19 & Tues 20 Jan 2015  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar  

►Support Plans |  Tues 13 Jan 2015 |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►5 day WRAP facilitation programme |  Mon 24 Nov 2014 |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►Working with challenging behaviours | Weds 12 Nov 2014  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►Needle exchange and opiate subsititute therapy | Tues 11 Nov 2014  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►Safer injecting | Tues & Weds 5/6 Nov  2014 |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

►Protection of vulnerable adults | Weds 29 Oct 2014  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar

► KUF personality disorder training  |  Weds 22 Oct 2014  |  for info / to book, go to: core training calendar




recent publications


Click on the links below to access our latest briefings, links and guidance.


Recent updates include harm reduction advice and emergency contacts poster.





fareshare ni






No good food should be wasted.


FareShare NI is a regional food sharing network that aims to help vulnerable groups in food poverty by distributing surplus, 'fit for purpose' food.


FareShare is a UK network of community based partnerships with regional organisations and charities that deliver services to their local Community Members. CHNI operates the model, under license, across Northern Ireland.






more fareshare ni





service user involvement



We involve service users wherever possible in our projects and services. This is most notable in our substance use training and speakup programmes.







latest news









policy related news





Exempt & specified accomm. & intensive housing management briefing


Supported accommodation and welfare reform briefing


►The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Supported Accomm.) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. Click here


►House of Commons Work & Pensions Committee: Support for housing costs in the reformed welfare system (pdf). Click here


►SP Housing Related Support Strategy, CHNI: click here  |  CRISPP: click here


►  Housing (Anti-Social Behaviour) Bill (NI), CHNI: click here  |  HPF: click here


►  HPF Fundamental Review of Social Housing Allocations, click here

departmental links &

contacts

general training

CHNI Fareshare

substance use training

northwest office

youth department

staff contacts



archived news





service user training model






User led, user focused. One of the main strengths of the substance use training programme is its community of service user trainers who assist in the delivery of training.


We employ two staff to support the Regional Service User Network (RSUN), making sure that service users are represented on key decision making bodies.  





more about the model





more about RSUN

SUN site





YOUTHSPEAK








We believe that young people should be involved in decisions that affect their lives. This means listening to what they have to say, and being prepared to act upon it.


Speak Up is a CHNI project, supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Regional Health and Social Care Board.






more about speakup

general advice

homeless?

need advice?

about us

more about us

14 April 2015: Young, single and homeless but 'not a priority'

BBC Newsbeat: If you're 18, single and homeless, how might local authorities treat you? One woman goes undercover to find out. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/articles/31971880



13 April 2015: Oxford City Council 'criminalising homelessness'

BBC news: A petition urging Oxford City Council to scrap plans to ban rough sleeping in the city has gained 65,000 signatures. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-32282822. See also: 10 April - ‘Homelessness not a crime’: Oxford’s rough sleeping ban condemned - Oxford City Council has denied planning to “criminalize” rough sleeping in the university town, after 50,000 people signed a petition resisting plans to make “homelessness a crime.” http://rt.com/uk/248625-homeless-criminalize-oxford-council/



12 April 2015: Homeless march in Belfast to highlight the issue of people sleeping rough in the city

A homeless march is set to take place in Belfast next weekend. http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/homeless-march-belfast-highlight-issue-9027225



02 April 2015: Homelessness crisis: One in 25 London children lives in temporary accommodation

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/homelessness-crisis-one-in-25-london-children-lives-in-temporary-accommodation-10151844.html



01 April 2015: Gauge NI evaluation of FareShare NI - report launched

Click here for report



01 April 2015: Joseph Rowntree Foundation release interim report on Destitution in the UK.

The Joseph Rowtree Foundation 'Destitution in the UK' (research being conducted by Heriot Watt University) programme aims to provide evidence about the extent of destitution, across the UK, and involves seven cities, including Belfast. An interim report detailing the first stages of the programme, and how a definition of destitution was developed is now available. Data collection is currently ongoing.



19 March 2015:  Judges criticise benefit cap but reject bid to overturn the policy

The Supreme Court has criticised the government’s benefit cap for depriving children of the “basic necessities of life” but has ruled out overturning the policy. See more at: Children & Young People Now


17 March 2015: Crisis research reveals benefit sanctions hotspots across Britain

Click here for hotspot map or report



16 March 2015: In tenants' own words: why the bedroom tax makes you ill

The bedroom tax causes stress, depression, loneliness and and hunger, social housing tenants told an academic study:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2015/mar/16/in-tenants-own-words-why-the-bedroom-tax-makes-you-ill

See also: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/16/tenants-hit-by-bedroom-tax-suffer-range-of-health-problems-study-shows

Journal article: http://jpubhealth.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/03/13/pubmed.fdv031.full?sid=e01a14d2-71d5-4690-8f76-cfcd0e454bf4



14 March 2015: Half a million more people claiming housing benefit under coalition

UK bill rose £650m a year on average with soaring rents, though government claims substantial savings for taxpayers: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/14/housing-benefit-coalition-people-claiming



13 March 2015: reminder - service user conference.

Regional Service User Network annual conference  |  Thursday 26 March 2015  |  Spires Conference Centre  |  starts 9:15am  |  programme.



13 March 2015: Information for Young People Aged 16 - 17 Years at Risk of Homelessness

We recently produced information resources (booklet and pocket sized flyer) for young people aged 16-17 years who may be at risk of homelessness. Produced by CHNI and funded and supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Regional Health and Social Care Board, it aims to provide basic information and advice for young people and outlines their rights and what to expect with regard to accessing help and support. Hard copies of these resources are not available at present, and we are only able to widely distribute electronic versions of both, but please feel free to disseminate both as you feel appropriate. They hopefully may prove useful to yourself or colleagues, when providing advice or support to young people.


resources also available at http://test.chni.org.uk/youthservices.html



13 March: LGB&T research: Through Our Eyes (published February 2015)

The Housing Executive commissioned this study into Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T) homelessness in Northern Ireland. The broad aim of the research was to add to the Housing Executive’s evidence base on the changing characteristics of homelessness in Northern Ireland, specifically with regards to Northern Ireland’s LGB&T communities. This research project was undertaken by The Rainbow Project (TRP), in partnership with Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland (CHNI).

available online (NIHE): http://www.nihe.gov.uk/through_our_eyes.pdf



13 March 2015: Review of Supporting People - papers for consideration update

The DSD have kindly agreed to allow the first two papers (of four) re. SP review to be circulated for consideration outside the Project Advisory Group. This affords you with an opportunity to directly feed into the Review of Supporting People, and should you wish to do so, papers are available for download below (Word documents). Please return written submissions as detailed below (see news dated 05 March, below). The DSD have extended the submission deadline for paper one to Thursday 19 March at the latest.


paper one

Northern Ireland Supporting People Review. Lessons Learned Report from Supporting People Programmes in the UK and Republic of Ireland. (Policy, Research and Legislation Team, Department for Social Development, February 2015). Download (word doc)


Please forward your comments in writing to  Angela Reddick, Programme Support Officer, Supported Housing Branch, by Friday 13th March 2015.

Angela Reddick

Programme Support Officer

Supported Housing Branch

DSD Housing

Level 1 Lighthouse Building

Gasworks Business Park

BELFAST, BT7 2JB

Angela.Reddick@dsdni.gov.uk



12 March 2015: DSD consultation for ‘Proposals for a New Regulatory Framework for Social Housing Providers in Northern Ireland’.

The Department for Social Development has published a consultation paper entitled ‘Proposals for a New Regulatory Framework for Social Housing Providers in Northern Ireland’.  The proposals set out the framework that will be used to regulate housing activities and services provided by social landlords. You are encouraged to read the consultation paper and respond accordingly.  We welcome your feedback.


The consultation proposes a regulatory framework that:


A series of public consultation events will be held as follows:


Pre-registration is not required, however you can register your interest in attending these events here


Timeline for Responses

The consultation period runs from 12th March 2015 to the 10th June 2015. Responses should reach the Department by 5pm on Wednesday 10th June 2015.


Access all the consultation documentation here


Regulatory Framework Consultation

Policy Project, DSD Social Housing Reform Programme

Ground Floor Lighthouse Building

Gasworks Business Park

Belfast BT2 7JB

Tel 02890 829031

Email: shrppolicy@dsdni.gov.uk



11 march 2015: Coalition Britain: after the teething problems, will universal credit work?

Supporters of the coalition’s flagship welfare reform programme are buoyant, but others question any conclusions, given the service has barely been tested. Guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/11/coalition-britain-after-the-teething-problems-will-universal-credit-work?CMP=EMCSOCEML657



10 March 2015: Exempt & specified accomm. & intensive housing management briefing  /  Supported accommodation and welfare reform briefing

Please find attached / linked two papers examining welfare reform measures and supported accommodation. After a period of delay on this issue, it is moving again and is of particular interest now we are progressing the Welfare Reform Bill in Northern ireland. CHNI will be seeking clarity in regard to NI, but it is likely we will follow the rest of the UK in these regards.

Exempt & specified accomm. & intensive housing management briefing

source: Support Solutions UK.

external link: http://supportsolutions.co.uk/briefing/issue_12/exempt_specified_accom.html


Supported accommodation and welfare reform briefing

source: Coalition of care and support providers in Scotland

external link: http://www.ccpscotland.org/hseu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/01/Supported-Accomodation-and-welfare-reform-briefingt.pdf



10 March 2015: 50% rise in long-term unemployment for young ethnic minority people in UK

Labour cites figures in attack on coalition for ‘abandonment’ of 16- to 24-year-olds from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to joblessness. Guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/10/50-rise-in-long-term-unemployed-youngsters-from-uk-ethnic-minorities?CMP=EMCSOCEML657



10 March 2015: Housing Rights Service celebrates 50 years of improving lives

On the 9th March, Housing Rights celebrated 50 years of service at a recent Stormont event, hosted by Junior Minister Jennifer McCann MLA. Mervyn Storey MLA, Minister for Social Development also attended the celebration. See more at: http://housingrights.org.uk/news/housing-rights-service-celebrates-50-years-improving-lives#sthash.jesMzBvD.dpuf



110 March 2015: Severely disabled people face disaster if the Independent Living Fund ends

Campaigners say closure of the Independent Living Fund will exacerbate ‘grave and systematic violation’ of disabled people’s rights. Guardian opinion piece: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/10/disaster-looms-people-severe-disabilities-independent-living-fund?CMP=EMCSOCEML657



10 March 2015: Welfare reform blocked by petition of concern

Despite parties reaching broad agreement on welfare reform as part of the Stormont House agreement in December, Sinn Fein lodged a petition of concern yesterday.  The petition, also supported by the SDLP, effectively blocks further passage of the bill through the Assembly. See more at: http://housingrights.org.uk/news/welfare-reform-blocked-petition-concern#sthash.oPbuvDGw.dpuf



05 March 2015: Review of Supporting People - papers for consideration

 

The DSD have kindly agreed to allow the first two papers (of four) re. SP review to be circulated for consideration outside the Project Advisory Group. This affords you with an opportunity to directly feed into the Review of Supporting People, and should you wish to do so, papers are available for download below (Word documents). Please return written submissions as detailed below.

 

paper one

Northern Ireland Supporting People Review. Lessons Learned Report from Supporting People Programmes in the UK and Republic of Ireland. (Policy, Research and Legislation Team, Department for Social Development, February 2015). Download (word doc)


paper two

Review of the Supporting People Programme: SWOT/PEST Analysis. (Department for Social Development, January 2014). Download (word doc)


Please forward your comments in writing to  Angela Reddick, Programme Support Officer, Supported Housing Branch, by Friday 13th March 2015.

 

Angela Reddick

Programme Support Officer

Supported Housing Branch

DSD Housing

Level 1 Lighthouse Building

Gasworks Business Park

BELFAST, BT7 2JB

Angela.Reddick@dsdni.gov.uk



01 March 2015: Street Soccer NI wins prestigious CIH award

Staff at Hosford House, a project of the East Belfast Methodist Mission (EBM), won the Best Housing Story 2014 Award at a Chartered Institue of Housing ceremony held in Belfast City Hall.

More at: http://www.irishmethodist.org/news/28-february-2015/hosford-staff-win-cih-award

More about the project: http://www.cih.org/resources/PDF/niawards/7.%20NI%20Street%20League%20-%20Best%20housing%20story.pdf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Street-Soccer-NI/504292489664000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nistreetleague

Web: http://www.streetsoccerni.org/



19 Feb 2015: Zero-hours contracts will not be banned in Northern Ireland. Zero-hours contracts will not be banned in Northern Ireland, following a review of their use by Employment Minister Stephen Farry. BBC Article


18 Feb 2015:  Why are vulnerable people in Britain being 'supported' to live in squalid flats? Healthwatch England demands action to close loopholes that leave people with mental health problems or learning disabilities living in appalling conditions. Guardian online


18 Feb 2015: 'Skunk-like cannabis' increases risk of psychosis, study suggests. Smoking potent cannabis was linked to 24% of new psychosis cases analysed in a study by King's College London. BBC Site  |  Lancet Article (pdf)


17 Feb 2015: Scotland - Family breakdown link to youth homelessness. BBC online: Edinburgh Cyrenians claim too many children in Scotland are becoming homeless because of arguments at home.  BBC article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-31510442 |  Scottish Centre for Conflict resolution stats page


17 Feb 2015: 'Anti-homeless spikes' outside Selfridges: Thousands sign petition to remove metal studs.

Read more - Telegraph article online


12 Feb 2015: Dangerous MDMA ecstasy pills warning in Northern Ireland. A number of people were hospitalised in England after taking high-strength yellow tablets that contained MDMA and were marked with a "UPS" logo. Similar pills have now been seized in Londonderry and Portstewart.  PHA Alert and advice for users: here.  BBC news online: here


12 Feb 2015: opinion piece - A ban on beggars in Norwegian cities is not the answer to homelessness

Guardian online article: here.


12 Feb 2015: Evictions from rented homes in England and Wales hit record levels in 2014.

Guardian online article: here.


12 Feb 2015: Belfast city centre homeless pod 'not publicity stunt'.

Video report from BBC NI online - here


12 Feb 2015: Homeless man was deliberately burned.

BBC (Scotland) news online: here


8 Feb 2015:  Homelessness groups unite to plead with Scott Morrison not to cut funding

The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul Society are among more than 50 groups calling on the Coalition not to walk away from funding vital services. Guardian online article.


7 Feb 2015: opinion piece -  Taking in a rough sleeper brings home the value of charity

Would you house a homeless person for £15 a night? Peter Pike did, and helped two young men pull their lives together, writes Hilary Osborne in the Guardian.  Guardian online article.


6 Feb 2015: Homeless World Cup footballer signs for Bangor FC.

Padraig McKissock scored more than 30 goals as Northern Ireland claimed a trophy at the Homeless World Cup in Chile in October. The shooting star of Northern Ireland's Homeless World Cup team is celebrating after signing for the Irish League side. BBC article


4 Feb 2015:  Welfare reforms are main cause of homelessness in England, study finds

Number of people facing homelessness rose sharply last year but trend has gone unnoticed by politicians or media, says lead author of Homelessness Monitor (see news article below for more info about the Homelessness Monitor).  Guardian article


4 Feb 2015: Official figures failing to show full extent of homelessness in England, says report

New independent research published by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals the true scale of homelessness in England. The Homelessness Monitor: England 2015 shows how official homelessness figures are masking the true scale of the problem, with 280,000 cases of people facing homelessness last year - a 9% rise not reflected in the headline statistics. Crisis  |  Guardian


4 Feb 2015:  Homelessness is much worse than it appears and politicians must act: Guardian opinion piece

Changes in the way councils across England deal with homelessness mean that hundreds of thousands of people facing eviction have been hidden from official figures. All political parties must address this crisis in the runup to the election, argues Jon Sparkes.  Guardian article - here


30 Jan 2015: Shaping Social Housing, Involving Communities - HRS one day conference.

Housing Rights Service and Supporting Communities NI have come together to offer an exclusive one day conference to help stimulate ideas and discussion for those who want input into the Department for Social Development’s (DSD) consultation “A Tenant Participation Strategy for Northern Ireland: 2015 – 2020". The conference will look to how Scotland has successfully involved communities, with their Social Housing Charter. It will also include the launch of research carried out by Dr Jenny Muir of Queen’s University Belfast, and commissioned by Housing Rights Service, which looks at how to include everyone, particularly ‘hard to reach’ or ‘easy to ignore’ groups, in the development of housing policy. Delegates will have the opportunity to participate in practical workshops. More info: www.housingrights.org.uk/


30 Jan 2015: Tenant Participation Strategy Consultation public events

The DSD recently launched the ‘Tenant Participation Strategy for Northern Ireland: 2015-2020’ on the 15th January 2015. This strategy recognises the existing good practice in tenant engagement and participation in Northern Ireland and aims to: build on the good work already going on;  work to ensure consistency throughout the sector; and encourage and support tenants to become involved at a level they feel comfortable with. The consultation period will run from 15 January - 8 April 2015.


As part of the Tenant Participation Strategy Consultation, three public events will be held:

23 February 2015 – 10.30am at Belfast Central Mission, Grosvenor House;

3 March 2015 – 10.30am at City Hotel, Londonderry; and

10 March 2015 – 10.30am at Craigavon Civic Centre


You can register your interest for one of these events here


 


27 Jan 2015: CHNI Annual Report 2103-14 available for download.

Our annual report and accounts for the period 2013-14 are available for download. Annual report (pdf). Visit information page for 2013-14 accounts and previous reports / accounts.


27 Jan 2015: Belfast 'slumber' bed creators hit back at council removal for safety reason. Designers of an emergency sleeping shelter for the homeless in Belfast city centre have hit out at the council for removing the unit without informing them. Belfast Telegraph article. Other sources:  The Irish News  |  The Newsletter



26 Jan 2015:  Belfast City Council removes emergency sleeping shelter in Victoria Street.  BBC articles here and here



16 Jan 2015: reminder - Launch of research into the value of the Supporting People Programme in Northern Ireland: Wednesday 21 January 2015

NICVA’s Centre for Economic Empowerment would like to invite you to a seminar on Supporting People. Consultant Phil Saunders will present the findings of research he has recently carried out in in partnership with SITRA, on the extent to which spending on Supporting People produces savings in other areas of government expenditure.

While Supporting People in Northern Ireland has been protected to date, the prospect of further constraints on budgets means that the programme’s future financial position is uncertain. This research will add to the evidence base on the value of Supporting People. The seminar will therefore be of particular interest to Supporting People professionals and practitioners.

If you would like to attend please RSVP to Elizabeth.hendron@nicva.org. The event will take place on Wednesday 21 January 2015 at the Council for the Homeless NI, 60 Great Victoria Street. The event will start at 3.30 and will finish at 4.30



16 Jan 2015:  Stop talking about renting a home as though people have a choice

“Private landlords are trying to make renting seem like a lifestyle option. The truth is that most renters are locked out of home ownership, and could be for decades” - opinion article Guardian online.


15 Jan 2015: Tenant Participation Strategy for Northern Ireland consultation

Tenant and customer participation in social housing has moved up the agenda with the release of the Department for Social Development’s (DSD) consultation "A Tenant Participation Strategy for Northern Ireland: 2015 – 2020" as part of its Social Housing Reform Programme. See more at the DSD site



15 Jan 2015:  ‘Bad policy’ sees huge drop in homes for social rent

Independent research (CIH) finds stock of social rent housing for 2013-14 fell by more double the previous year’s drop. Research: CIH  |  News article source: Guardian.



15 Jan 2015: Scottish paper accused of xenophobia and racism in story about beggars. Source: Guardian online.


14 Jan 2015:  Launch of research into the value of the Supporting People Programme in Northern Ireland: Wednesday 21 January 2015

NICVA’s Centre for Economic Empowerment would like to invite you to a seminar on Supporting People. Consultant Phil Saunders will present the findings of research he has recently carried out in in partnership with SITRA, on the extent to which spending on Supporting People produces savings in other areas of government expenditure.

While Supporting People in Northern Ireland has been protected to date, the prospect of further constraints on budgets means that the programme’s future financial position is uncertain. This research will add to the evidence base on the value of Supporting People. The seminar will therefore be of particular interest to Supporting People professionals and practitioners.

If you would like to attend please RSVP to Elizabeth.hendron@nicva.org. The event will take place on Wednesday 21 January 2015 at the Council for the Homeless NI, 60 Great Victoria Street. The event will start at 3.30 and will finish at 4.30



14 Jan 2015:  'No social housing' boasts luxury London flat advert for foreign investors

Marketing material aimed at foreign investors provokes anger in one of London’s most deprived areas with thousands on social housing waiting lists. Guardian online



14 Jan 2015:  Virtual debates about homelessness in Sim City hold up a mirror to real life

A new art book, ‘How to get rid of homeless’, collects the virtual pleas for help from Sim City players, and rips them out of context to pose disturbing questions about attitudes to homeless people. Source: Guardian online.



03 Jan 2015: video of Belfast City Hall Christmas Lunch

A short video of the event, posted on youtube by the Belfast City Council, can be viewed here: www.chni.org.uk/spvid8.html and alt link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5QcZ_ryZAU


02 Jan 2015: The scandal of empty buildings made us take direct action on homelessness

“I and the other Love Activists can't stand by while 1.5 million buildings sit empty and 110,000 people don't have homes” - comment article on Guardian online



23 Dec 2014: Labour highlights rise in number of families ‘illegally housed’ in UK

Party says emergency temporary accommodation will have cost taxpayers £2.8bn over current five-year parliament. Source: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/23/labour-highlights-rise-number-illegally-housed-families-uk



22 Dec 2014:  Lord Mayor opens City Hall for Christmas Lunch

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Nichola Mallon, today welcomed 80 homeless people from across Belfast along to City Hall to enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch, organised by Council for the Homeless NI and other homelessness organisations, with all the trimmings. www.belfastcity.gov.uk/News/News-45350.aspx



17 Dec 2014: Britain’s most vulnerable people are sleeping rough. This is a grave injustice

“The supreme court has the power and the opportunity to right the wrong of homelessness. No one should be turned away” - comment article on Guardian online.



16 Dec 2014: Pereira test of vulnerability to be considered by Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court will hear a trio of cases between December 15 and 17 on the issue of which homeless applicants are deemed to be vulnerable, and entitled to assistance, by warrant of this vulnerability. This hearing has been deemed the most important case on homelessness in decades. See more at: http://housingrights.org.uk/news/pereira-test-vulnerability-be-considered-supreme-court#sthash.6RznS05O.dpuf



08 Dec 2014:  free performance of ‘Hostel’ play.

Professor Paddy Grey, University of Ulster, invites you to a free showing of ‘Hostel’, a play highlighting experiences of temporary accommodation.  10 December  |  Strand Arts Centre  |  7:30 pm  |  flyer


08 Dec 2014: DEL Minister confirms voluntary and community organisations’ worst fears as he plans unfair, disproportionate cuts to the sector

DEL Minister Stephen Farry spoke to the Employment and Learning Committee on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 about his need to cut over 10% from his department’s budget next year. NICVA site.



05 Dec 2014:  Millions fear missing January’s rent or mortgage payments, says Shelter

Interest rate rise would put many more in trouble, with almost 60% saying they are already struggling to meet housing costs. Source: Guardian online.



04 Dec 2014: Department for Employment and Learning draft budget 2015-16

Accessible here (DEL site, pdf)



04 Dec 2014: Department for Social Development draft budget 2015-16

Accessible here (DSD site, pdf): www.dsdni.gov.uk/dsd-draft-budget-2015-16-consultation.pdf



04 Dec 2014: Department of Justice draft budget 2015-16

Accessible here (DOJ site, pdf)



03 Dec 2014: thanks to all who took part in Homelessness Awareness Week 2014!

A great, big, thank you and congratulations to everyone who made Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW) 2014 such a success.


Over 30% more organisations got involved, compared to last year, to raise awareness of homelessness, challenge stereotypes, and highlight the excellent services provided across NI.


From sofa pushing, to lighting up the front of Stormont, events were innovative, fun, and hard hitting.


It was especially encouraging that service user groups were actively involved this year, as well as MLAs, statutory and voluntary agencies, providers, and their partners.


If you have any pictures and / or reviews of events you held that you would like to share with us, please forward onto George Quinn, info@chni.org.uk, and we will collate these on our website.


Once again, thank you for all your hard work. Congratulations.


Ricky Rowledge, CEO, Council for the Homeless NI



01 Dec 2014: Private Pension Reforms 2015

In April 2015 the pension system will undergo radical reform. This article sets out these changes and looks at the possible consequences. NICVA site



21 Nov 2014: Ballymena drugs treatment centre: Protesters hold meeting

BBC online article. Click here


20 Nov 2014: article about the work of Railway Street treatment service, Ballymena.

The Ballymena service has been independently assessed as a model of best practice in helping injecting drug users across the UK. Click here for one professional’s personal view of the service


See also: flyer about the service (pdf)  |  BBC article about closure of service, here



20 Nov 2014: Call to keep looked-after children out of justice system

Children and Young People online article. http://goo.gl/2JRznb



12 Nov 2014: Why welfare is not about them and us

Public perceptions that society is split into those who benefit from welfare and those who pay - take no account that we will all benefit from the NHS and pensions as we grow older - article from Guardian online


12 Nov 2014: Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin April - June 2014,

Publication Released Today. Available at DSD site, here


10 Nov 2014: ND&A Women’s Aid Coffee Morning event.

To mark ‘16 days’ campaign. Visit archive section (link below) for more info or download flyer


06 Nov 2014:  launch of PHA supported Drug and Alcohol App.

App produced by ASCERT, QUB & PHA which has been produced to assist professionals and service users in improving their drug and alcohol related

Knowledge. flyer


05 Nov 2014: Homeless Film Festival at QFT. The Homeless Film Festival will be taking place from 1 to 14 November 2014 in Belfast, (QFT), Liverpool, London, Manchester and Nottingham in the UK. QFT listings here | click here for more info about the festival.


05 Nov 2014; FEANTSA Flash Newsletter available.

The Flash newsletter brings you news from across Europe on issues related to housing and homelessness.

http://feantsa.org/spip.php?rubrique41&lang=en


03 Nov 2014: DUP 'to cut public sector jobs for corporation tax cut'

The DUP is proposing to cut public sector jobs to pay for a tax reduction for companies, the BBC has learned. Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-29877990


03 Nov 2014: Ark Housing Association – Winner of the Northern Ireland Living Wage Champion Award 2014

Ark Housing has been chosen as the winner of the Living Wage Champion Awards 2014 for the Northern Ireland region. More at nifha site: http://www.nifha.org/members/ark-housing-association-winner-of-the-northern-ireland-living-wage-champion-award-2014/



01 Nov 2014: Homeless Film Festival 1-14 Nov 2014

The Homeless Film Festival will be taking place from 1 to 14 November 2014 in Belfast, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Nottingham in the UK. Click here for more info.



31 Oct 2014: Supporting people still my priority

Mervyn Storey’s (DSD Minister) response to Cameron Watt's recent article (DebateNI, October 23), where he calls on the Executive to "keep on Supporting People. Read more of the Belfast Telegraph ‘opinion’ article at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/editors-viewpoint/supporting-people-still-my-priority-30706363.html



30 Oct 2014: New housing-led partnership to support and sustain communities

A new partnership protocol between housing associations and restorative justice agencies will support local communities and tackle difficult problems like anti-social behaviour, the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) said today. NIFHA website: http://www.nifha.org/nifhanews/new-housing-led-partnership-to-support-and-sustain-communities/


29 Oct 2014: NI are champions at Homeless World Cup

The NI Street League Team have been crowned as World Champions of the Tier 4 Accion Total Cup, at the Homeless World Cup tournament in Santiago, Chile. Read more here



27 Oct 2014: Northern Ireland budget: Q&A

BBC news article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-29785352


24 Oct 2014: Opinion piece - Human Trafficking Bill: Stormont vote has done sex workers a real disservice.

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women says that such laws "not only fail to reduce trafficking and sex work, but [have] also resulted in further harms and human rights violations against sex workers". Read more at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/debateni/blogs/fionola-meredith/human-trafficking-bill-stormont-vote-has-done-sex-workers-a-real-disservice-30688093.html


23 Oct 2014: Supporting People: A charity well worth supporting

Cameron Watt’s (CEO of NIFHA) opinion piece in the Belfast Telegraph’s Debate NI portal. Read more at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/supporting-people-a-charity-well-worth-supporting-30685430.html



23 Oct 2014: Big rise in number of new homes built in Northern Ireland.

BBC news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-29727163



23 Oct 2014: NI Housing Statistics 2013-14, publication released today.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from the Analytical Services Unit (DSD) site: http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/stats_and_research/stats-publications/stats-housing-publications/housing_stats.htm. The Unit is planning to undertake a review of new Dwelling Starts and Completions data included in the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin and Housing Statistics publications. Please refer to the above link for further information



21 Oct 2014: A tale of two cities - Athens v Munich: why homelessness hits rich cities as hard as poor ones.

Guardian online article. In Athens, it’s caused by an economy in crisis; in Munich, by an economy that’s booming. The result, though, is the same – a worsening homeless problem that doesn’t reflect a city’s wealth.



20 Oct 2014: latest chni e-news bulletin

The bulletin can be viewed online here


20 Oct 2014: Housing First: the 'counterintuitive' method for solving urban homelessness.

Guardian online: Despite the global recession, homelessness in cities around the world is falling. Can a controversial strategy to give homeless people a roof first – that is, before addressing drug abuse or mental health – take the credit?



20 Oct 2014: Homeless World Cup 2014 kicks off in Chile

Northern Ireland sit in joint third with Scotland in their qualifying group, with six points from three games, two points of top spot. Ireland sit in joint second, behind Mexico, in their group.  


NI Street League is the Homeless World Cup's newest partner. Team Northern Ireland will make its debut at the Homeless World Cup tournament in 2013.


Team Ireland is organised by the Big Issue Street League. They mainly work with the Homeless, drug and alcohol dependant individuals in rehabilitation, ex-offenders, long-term unemployed with identified learning disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers.


Guardian online video: www.theguardian.com/sport/video/2014/oct/20/homeless-world-cup-2014-kicks-off-in-chile-video

Homeless World Cup website: https://www.homelessworldcup.org/

Qualifying tables:

www.homelessworldcup.org/chile-2014/tournament/group-stage




18 Oct 2014: tell us your plans for Homelessness Awareness Week 2014!

Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW) is an annual, sector wide week of activities to highlight the issue of homelessness across Northern Ireland, and to mark the continued efforts of organisations, staff, and service users working in the sector. This year HAW runs from Saturday 22 - Sunday 30 November.


In order to keep everyone in the sector up to date with planned events, we provide an online list and review of the activities held during Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW).


Please get in touch and let us know what events you have planned.



16 Oct 2014: Crisis England research report.

Turned away: The treatment of single homeless people by local authority homelessness services in England. more info at Crisis website



14 Oct 2014: Care leavers' 'emotional needs unmet'. BBC news article  |  Action For Children report.


09 Oct 2014: ‘Anti-homeless’ cages erected for health reasons, says Cardiff University.

Guardian online article. University claims metal grilles are not to deter outdoor sleepers but to prevent lengthy exposure to potentially toxic fumes.


03 October 2014: Latest ‘Keep on Supporting People’ campaign newsletter.  View online here


02 October 2014: MLAs get behind the campaign Last week a group of service users and providers took to Parliament Buildings, Stormont to call on MLAs to ‘Keep on Supporting People’ (see news below / images above).


More than 30 MLAs got behind the campaign with many taking to Twitter to add their voice to our call with media interest following swiftly alongside. It is important that we seize the moment to really bring the campaign to life and to the attention of those who are in a position to safeguard the Supporting People (SP) programme.


We need everyone involved in SP to get involved and help amplify the message.


read story here.



01 October 2014: Halloween massacre at Morrisons Bar, Belfast: 100helpthehomeless are hosting a Halloween bash to beat them all! Cheesy tunes and prizes for best fancy dress outfit. Tickets, questions, etc., visit site for contact details.



100helpthehomeless and City Centre Gym Belfast are also hosting a night of boxing on 18 October. Pro boxing coach, personal trainer and all-round nice guy Gerard McManus has kindly offered to train 20 complete novices to fight in a White Collar Boxing event. More here.



24 Sept 2014: VOYPIC gala ball. VOYPIC are holding a 21st Birthday Gala Ball in the Europa Hotel in Belfast on Saturday 25 October 2014 to celebrate their work since 1993 and to raise awareness and funding. Click here and here for more.


24 Sept 2014: Welfare reform splits MLAs: Assembly rejects vote opposing welfare reform... and also one supporting it. Belfast Telegraph article - click here.


24 Sept 2014: Drop in homelessness in Wales. Inside Housing article - click here.


24 Sept 2014: Nelson McCausland loses post in reshuffle.  Inside Housing article - click here.


24 Sept 2014: Northern Ireland Executive must find £200m of cuts between October and April. BBC News article - click here.


24 Sept 2014:  Next steps in social housing reform? Housing Rights Service article. Click here.


23 Sept 2014: Stormont welfare cuts debate: Sinn Fein motion calling on Executive to oppose 'Tory cuts agenda'. Belfast Telegraph article - click here.


23 Sept 2014: Welfare reform motion tops Stormont debate. BBC news article - click here


12 Sept 2014: Latest steps to improve standards in the PRS. The Housing Rights Service report that there have been a few promising announcements recently that aim to improve conditions in the Private Rented Sector. Read more here.


11 Sept 2014: Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, has launched a new scheme that aims to tackle fuel poverty head on in 33,000 Northern Ireland homes. See NIHE article online, here.



11 Sept 2014: Personal debt levels higher in Northern Ireland says charity

Levels of personal debt in Northern Ireland are 20% higher than the rest of the UK, according to a report from StepChange, a nationwide debt advice service. BBC article  |  

StepChange report (pdf)



07 Sept 2014: Many teenagers 'moved from care to B&Bs'

More than half of English councils place young people leaving care in unsuitable accommodation for long periods, data from Barnardos’ suggests. BBC article here



29 Aug 2014: CHNI Fareshare recruiting for vacant post.

We are currently recruiting for Deputy Manager at our Belfast depot. Go to ‘sector vacancies’ on homepage for more details.


26 Aug 2014: floating support - landlords roadshows

A series of roadshows allowing private sector landlords and floating support providers to meet and build mutually beneficial relationships between the sectors.

 

Confirmed dates:

Wed 17 Sept - Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown

Wed 24 Sept - Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena

Wed 1 Oct - Belmont Hotel, Banbridge

Wed 8 Oct - Grosvenor House, Belfast

Wed 15 Oct - Tower Hotel, Derry.

all to be held between 7pm-8.30pm


All landlords attending will also get a copy of the new Floating Support Directory published by Supporting People.


These events are organised by DSD, NIHE, Smartmove Housing, CHNI, Depaul Ireland, Housing Rights Service, and the Landlords’ Association Northern Ireland.


poster for landlords


Queries

For queries about the purpose / content of the events: please contact Ms. Ricky Rowledge, Director, CHNI, either by email, or telephone: 90246440.


Do you provide floating support or related services and would like to promote these services at an event? We're offering relevant organisations the opportunity to provide a staffed information stand to promote their service at each of the events. This service shall be provided free of charge (display tables will be provided). Contact us to discuss: email  |  phone:  90246440



22 Aug 2014: Food poverty: Experts issue malnutrition health warning

BBC News article: More people are suffering from malnutrition as a result of worsening food poverty, experts have warned. Read more here.


21 Aug 2014: Stark anti-drugs campaign 'needed to prevent deaths'

BBC news article states that young people have died "horrific deaths" from taking multiple drugs, a senior member of the Forensic Science service in Northern Ireland has said. Click here for more



18 Aug 2014: Diazepam: Online drug 'putting more young people in hospital'

BBC news article reports that Londonderry Magistrates' Court is told that the number of young people hospitalised after taking a diazepam circulating on the online black market has increased. Click here for more




15 Aug 2014: update - directorate activities

Ricky Rowledge, Director CHNI, and Cameron Watt CEO, NIFHA met Gregory Campbell MLA to discuss the Review of Supporting People, to highlight the importance of the project and call for a retention of the ring-fence and increased investment.


This was the first of a series of meetings taking place during August to include MLAs, Fra McCann, Mickey Brady, Dolores Kelly, Jim Allister. Michael Copeland, Paula Brady, Stewart Dickson and the Minister, Nelson McCausland.


Ricky is representing the interests of Members and their service users on the Review of Supporting People Project Advisory Group and the Project Advisory Group for the review of Accommodation-based services. Members will be kept abreast of the progress of these groups over the coming months.


Ricky has also been asked to represent NI on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Project Board to examine Destitution in the UK. She will be in contact with members to gather case studies to ensure NI is adequately represented in the final report due September 2015.



15 Aug 2014: ministers issue invite to developer contributions consultation event

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland and Environment Minister Mark H Durkan are to host a consultation event on their proposals for developer contributions. The proposals would require developers to provide a proportion of newly proposed housing developments, over a certain threshold, as affordable housing. The consultation has been extended to 23 Sept 2014 [more at: planning NI site |  DSD Site].


The consultation event will take place on Wednesday 10 September 2014, 9.30am-12 noon, Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick.


If you would like to attend the consultation event you must register in advance, numbers are limited. A registration form can be obtained by emailing the DSD or by telephoning 028 9082 9309. Source: Housing Rights Service website



14 Aug 2014: Drug deaths involving 'legal highs' double in last year.

The number of deaths in Scotland involving so-called legal highs more than doubled last year, according to new figures. BBC site for more.



08 Aug 2014: Belfast Telegraph article about chni fareshare - 3,000 a day fed on charity meals. Click here



08 Aug 2014: CharityGiving might begin paying back money owed to charities next month

The suspended online giving platform, owned by the Dove Trust, says its interim manager is writing to donors to the 1,812 charities to ask how to return about a third of the £1.7m it owes. Source: Third Sector



06 Aug 2014: Benefit policies 'push asylum-seeking children into poverty'

A government funding freeze on support for asylum-seeking children in the UK has been heavily criticised in a report by The Children's Society. Read “From persecution to destitution” Report here (pdf)



06 Aug 2014: 06 social housing reform - a seminar on tenant participation

In January 2013 the Minister for Social Development announced proposals to overhaul the delivery of social housing in Northern Ireland through the Social Housing Reform Programme (SHRP). This is the first in a series of events looking at the different facets of the SHRP. Cost: Free  |  Organised by: Housing Rights Service & NICVA  |  venue: NICVA Offices, Belfast  |  more info at HRS site and at DSD Site   |  book at nicva site




23 July 2014: Which? report shows Northern Ireland one of the most financially distressed areas in UK

Consumer website, Which? has published a map showing the most financially distressed areas in the UK as part of its Financial Distress Index.


The financial distress index estimates the extent to which the households in an area are experiencing financial difficulty relative to all other areas. Three geographic levels are presented, Region, Parliamentary Constituency, and Neighbourhood. The index is a summary indicator of 5 levels of financial distress, with greater weight attributed to the more severe levels of distress (like cutting back on essentials to signifiers of serious financial problems, such as defaulting on a loan, rent or mortgage). Areas are ranked out of 100. The most distressed area is 100, the least distressed is 1.


The responses were assessed based on their geographic location and each location was given a score from 0-100, with the most financially distressed areas scoring 100.  Northern Ireland's overall score was 88, behind only the North East of England (100).


Belfast West was the 6th most stressed constituency in the whole of the UK with a score of 100. Two thirds of our Westminster constituencies scored above 70 on the index.  Of the other Westminster constituencies, only 2 scored below 50.  These were South Belfast (47) and North Down (28).


More at: http://consumerinsight.which.co.uk/maps  |  also Guardian online   (zoom in on maps to get area by area data)





23 July 2014: Extension on public consultation on affordable housing proposals.

On 3 June 2014 Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland and Environment Minister Mark H Durkan launched public consultations on proposals that aim to increase the supply of affordable housing. The draft proposals would require developers to provide a proportion of newly proposed housing developments, over a certain threshold, as affordable housing.  The consultation was originally intended to run until 26 August 2014 however both Ministers have agreed to extend the period for receipt of comments until 23 September 2014.  More at: planning NI site  |  DSD Site




23 July 2014:  The impact of welfare reform on third sector care and support services in Scotland

Research examining the impact of welfare reform on third sector care and support services in Scotland. The Coalition of Care and Support Providers and the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services commissioned the research in 2012, which was conducted over a three-month period between January and April of 2014.


Read more re. key findings and recommendations here, or download the report (pdf) here.



18 July 2014: International Remembrance Day.

Monday 21 July  |  6pm  |  Lower Crescent Park (map)  |  remembrance event for those who have lost their lives through drugs and alcohol  |  click here for flyer.



15 July 2014: Belfast nurse Susan Semple wins UK-wide award for NHS values

Susan, a health care coordinator in the city, was selected as the winner in the individual category of the 2014 Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing. More at BBC site



11 July 2014: Changes to JSA rules for homeless clients

New regulations come into force on 21st July 2014 which will ease the conditions on homeless jobseekers to be looking for work. The legislation, entitled The Jobseeker's Allowance (Homeless Claimants) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014, will allow jobseekers who have recently become homeless to be treated as available for employment whilst they are trying to access new accommodation. In order to fall under this criteria, homeless jobseekers will have to show that they are taking reasonable steps to find new living accommodation.


Source article: NIHE site

For more about the legislation, visit legislation.gov.uk site



11 July 2014: latest DSD Housing Bulletin available.

The housing statistics from January to March 2014 have just been published by the Department for Social Development. The Bulletin reports that:


Click here to visit DSD site and view latest bulletin




10 July 2014: NI ranked 88/100 on financial distress indicator

Consumer website, Which? has published a map showing the most financially distressed areas in the UK as part of their Financial Distress Index.


Which? asked site users to rank how financially stressed they were on a five point sliding scale.  The scale ran from low level financial stressors, like cutting back on essentials to signifiers of serious financial problems, such as defaulting on a loan, rent or mortgage.


The financial distress index estimates the extent to which the households in an area are experiencing financial difficulty relative to all other areas. Three geographic levels are presented, Region, Parliamentary Constituency, and Neighbourhood. The index is a summary indicator of 5 levels of financial distress, with greater weight attributed to the more severe levels of distress (such as defaulting on payments). Areas are ranked out of 100. The most distressed area is 100, the least distressed is 1


Which? found that Belfast West was the 6th most stressed constituency in the whole of the UK with a score of 100. Two thirds of our Westminster constituencies scored above 70 on the index. Of the other Westminster constituencies, only 2 scored below 50. These were South Belfast (47) and North Down (28). More at: http://consumerinsight.which.co.uk/maps  |  also Guardian online  | (zoom in on maps to get area by area data)




10 July 2014: Inspirational youngsters praised at MACS awards

At a recent awards ceremony, The Housing Executive’s Rosemary Owens praised the inspiration of young people and staff at the charity, MACS. More at the NIHE site



03 July 2014: CHNI members’ survey

It’s time for our annual members’ survey (for the period 2013-14), which helps us keep abreast of whether our members are happy with the service we provide and where to improive. This survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and can be accessed here. [Alternatively, a pdf version can be downloaded, completed, saved and returned by email to us]



3 July 2014: CAB manager reveals shocking scale of borough's food poverty crisis. Read more at Newtownabbey times online: http://goo.gl/tD3hn9




03 July 2014: Nelson McCausland: Committee votes that 'deliberately misled'.

Read more (BBC online news) at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-28138929


 

03 July 2014: consultation on proposals for new mental capacity legislation for Northern Ireland

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have launched a joint consultation on the civil provisions of the draft Mental Capacity Bill and associated proposals for those subject to the criminal justice system. Read more / consultation materials


 



03 July 2014: Repossessions taskforce findings due to be published. Read more (BBC online news) at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-28129490



01 July 2014: Advice NI Social Policy Report: food banks.

'Turning the Tide: The Growth of Food Banks in Northern Ireland', published December 2013. Available: http://www.debtaction-ni.net/sites/default/files/resources/AdviceNI%20Food%20Banks%20Policy%20paper.pdf  

 

 

01 July 2014: Northern Ireland Poverty Bulletin 2012-13, publication released today.
The report can be found on the DSD website at:
http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/stats_and_research/stats-publications/stats-family-resource/households/poverty_bulletin.htm



26 June 2014: North South Inter-Parliamentary Association. report of 4th meeting: Substance Misuse (4th April 2014).

Background briefing prepared by the Research and Information Service (RaISe) of the Northern Ireland Assembly and of the Library & Research Service of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Tithe an Oireachtais). Click here (pdf)



26 June 2014: SFHA welcomes end of Right to Buy

Commenting on the passing of the Housing (Scotland) Bill yesterday (Wednesday 25 June) by the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said it was “delighted” that the policy is being brought to an end.  Read more




23 June 2014: Homeless figures treble among private rental tenants (England). Read more (BBC online news) at:: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27940701

 

 

19 June 2014: FEANTSA - Homes, Not Spikes, Are the Answer to Homelessness. Amidst the ‘spikes’ scandal meant to drive away homeless people from public spaces, Freek Spinnewijn calls for “more affordable housing that is accessible for homeless people, who have the right to a decent place to live as much as the next person.”


See http://www.euractiv.com/sections/social-europe-jobs/homes-not-spikes-are-answer-homelessness-303022.


Unfortunately, stigmatising, punitive approaches to homelessness are not uncommon and are even increasing in Europe, as demonstrated by FEANTSA’s Housing Rights Watch in its 2013 study ‘Mean Streets: A Report on the Criminalisation of Homelessness in Europe’.


Report accessible at (feantsa site): http://goo.gl/dm2lZS

 

See also:

press release (feansta site): http://goo.gl/IdcC8o


and opinion piece by Freek Spinnewijn, director, FEANTSA (24dash.com)- http://goo.gl/LsSSQL




17 June 2014: SFHA: Homelessness in Scotland set to increase as result of welfare reform

A new report published today (Tuesday 17 June) by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) suggests that the cumulative impact of the ‘bedroom tax’, benefit sanctions and problems accessing financial assistance at times of crisis is likely to result in an increase in homelessness in Scotland. Read more  | link to report (pdf) |  see also: CAUSE FOR CONCERN? Early impacts of benefit sanctions on housing associations and cooperatives in Scotland (pdf)




13 June 2014: New Private Rented Access Scheme to help homelessness from NIHE and Smartmove: The Housing Executive has started writing to certain people on the social housing waiting list to tell them about privately rented housing that is available in their areas. Smartmove Housing will manage these private tenancies. Smartmove will provide initial support to new tenants and will make referrals to other agencies for tenants who need additional support to help manage and sustain their tenancy. The Housing Executive will remove any homeless applicant who accepts a tenancy through this scheme from the waiting list. This is because they will have discharged their legal duties to any homeless applicants who have accepted a Smartmove tenancy.


More info: NIHE site  |  more about scheme (NIHE)  |  Housing Rights Service site



13 June 2014: NIHE post: Assistant Director, Supporting People & Homelessness. Based at The Housing Centre, 2 Adelaide St., Belfast; salary: £46,752 - £57,402 per annum. Closing date: 19 June 2014. More info / application packs & process at: https://nihe.erecruit.co.uk/erecruit/job/details.do;jsessionid=098B2ED8A8C5B7A4662EBC448D7C7A60?jobId=581

 


13 June 2014: Racism in Northern Ireland: Paper sets out equality plan. A long-awaited draft paper setting out the strategy for racial equality in Northern Ireland has been obtained by BBC NI politics programme, The View. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27807422

 


09 June 2014: Research Launch: Land Value Tax for Northern Ireland: 19 June 2014. NICVA’s Centre for Economic Empowerment (CEE) would like to invite you to the launch of a research report on a Land Value Tax (LVT). LVT would be an alternative to Northern Ireland’s existing rating system. It would aim to prevent land speculation, ensure a more stable housing market, and support economic growth.
 
Report authors Andy Wightman and Ronan Lyons will present their research findings and outline proposals for implementing LVT in Northern Ireland. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion.
 
The event will take place at the Belfast Castle, from 9.30am to 12 noon on 19 June. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to
elizabeth.hendron@nicva.org if you would like to attend. Places are strictly limited so please book as soon as possible to ensure a place

 

 

06 June 2014: New first citizen of Belfast shows her support for a vision where everyone has a home - See more at (Housing Rights Service site): http://goo.gl/sQvXTJ

 


03 June 2014: Ministers launch consultations on developer contributions for affordable housing

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland and Environment Minister Mark H Durkan have launched public consultations on proposals that aim to increase the supply of affordable housing. More at NI Executive site  |  planning NI site  |  DSD site


The Department of the Environment (DOE) has published a draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS22) Affordable Housing which contains details on how the DSD policy could be delivered.  You can submit your views PPS22 until 26 August 2014.


While the DSD consultation paper sets out the policy for proposed developer contributions, PPS22 details how these contributions could be delivered.  DSD and DOE will share responses to both consultations to ensure a joined-up approach to this policy.







03 June 2014: Sammy Wilson: Corporation tax depends on welfare reform. BBC site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27677843

 


03 June 2014: Private housing developers will be required to make contributions towards the building of social housing under proposals from the Department for Social Development (DSD). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27682152

 


03 June 2014: Asylum: Rise in applications made in Northern Ireland. BBC news - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27674001

 

 

01 June 2014: Hard Times series of reports.

The latest Communities in Action Hard Times reports, provide evidence gathered by communities themselves on the impact of austerity and cuts on families and young people across Northern Ireland between July 2012 and February 2014. More at: http://www.poverty.ac.uk/community/northern-ireland/cia/hard-times



01 June 2014: Housing Rights Service online article - ADVISER: Reviewing a decision that the client is intentionally homeless - See more at (Housing Rights Site):  http://goo.gl/6QTZl3

 

 

28 May 2014: One-in-four Northern Ireland children will be living in poverty by 2020, new report suggests: Belfast Telegraph article - http://goo.gl/E5IwJs Save The Children report: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/resources/online-library/fair-start-every-child

 

20 May 2014: Homelessness - The dangers of life on the streets. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27475093


20 May 2014: Belfast homeless: At least five dead since January, says charity. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27473466


19 may 2014: Racist hate crime - Police launch dedicated phone line to report incidents. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27470726


08 May 2014: PSNI crime statistics: Racist incidents rise 30% in 2013/14. Racist incidents reported to police in Northern Ireland increased by almost a third in the past year, according to the PSNI's annual crime statistics. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27325433

 

06 May 2014: Filor and Flax Housing Associations merge. The new association is called North Belfast Housing Association. NBHA can be contacted at Gatelodge, 8 Flax Street, Belfast, BT14 7EQ. tel: 90592110

 

06 May 2014: Benefits risk to jobseekers refusing zero-hours contracts. Jobseekers risk losing their benefits if they turn down certain zero-hours contracts without good reason, the government has said. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27289148 

 

01 May 2014: Job vacancy - Thorndale Family Centre. Two posts: Playgroup Worker and Relief Playgroup Worker. Visit CHNI homepage and click on vacancies button.

 

29 April 2014: Open Cinema news. News on behalf of Open Cinema:After a successful first screening of our family last month, we will be screening "TURBO" this Saturday 3rd May 2014. (see www.opencinemabelfast.org for more details)
Please spread the word and if you have any questions or require further information please do not hesitate to contact me. I have posters and flyers I can send to you should you wish to publicise this. If you are interested please let me know and I will get these down to you ASAP. If you have queries please do not hesitate to contact me, Daniel Saunders,
opencinema@redeemercentral.com.

 

28 April 2014: Open Cinema: Little Miss Sunshine. News on behalf of Open Cinema: Just a reminder that we will be screening 'Little Miss Sunshine' this week. Please encourage service users to attend - staff and volunteers are also very welcome!  If you have queries please do not hesitate to contact me, Daniel Saunders, opencinema@redeemercentral.com.

 

24 April 2014: Survey suggests NI disposable incomes rise but less than half UK average
Disposable income in Northern Ireland households is increasing but is less than half of the UK average, according to an economic consultancy. See more at BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27133671

 

23 April 2014: 1st meeting of Belfast Service User Network (SUN)
2:00 pm  |  28 April  |  Drug Outreach Team, Murray Street, Belfast. An opportunity for those with experience of substance use to discuss issues, at a local and regional level.  If you are interested in attending, please confirm with Joanne:
joanne@chni.org.uk or 07920557419

 

22 April 2014: Welfare cuts drive UK's poorest families deeper into poverty, says Oxfam
Survey points to effect of overall cut in value of benefits as well as changes to housing benefit and council tax support.
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/22/welfare-cuts-drive-uk-poorest-poverty-oxfam

 

23 April 2014: Research launch - The Homelessness Monitor: Northern Ireland - Tuesday 6 May 2014, 11:00am- 1:00pm Grosvenor House, Belfast

Crisis, an English charity for single homeless people, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation are pleased to invite you to the launch of their new research, the first year’s report of The Homelessness Monitor: Northern Ireland. Carried out by Heriot-Watt University and University of York, The Homelessness Monitor: Northern Ireland is part of a UK wide study. This first year report provides a baseline account of how homelessness stands in Northern Ireland in 2013. To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Helena Brice at Crisis, in London, on 020 7426 3857 or at helena.brice@crisis.org.uk

 


21 April 2014: Open Cinema news: News on behalf of Open Cinema: Happy Easter everyone! This week we begin our 3rd Season of Open Cinema. Please find attached posters and flyers for the season. Our first film this week is 'Oblivion'. The screening time is 7:30pm, doors open at 7pm. Please encourage service users to attend - staff and volunteers are also very welcome! If you have queries please do not hesitate to contact me, Daniel Saunders, opencinema@redeemercentral.com.

 

 

09 April 2014: Guardian Online Society briefing - need for food banks is caused by welfare cuts, research shows.
Report warns that as social security safety nets become weaker, charity provision could replace state-funded schemes.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/apr/08/food-banks-welfare-cuts-research?CMP=EMCSOCEML657

 

05 April 2014: NORTHERN IRELAND’S POOREST FAMILIES FALL BEHIND REST OF UK
New research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that Northern Ireland families have suffered a dramatic drop in their income following the economic downturn.  Overall, almost 400,000 people live in poverty in Northern Ireland.
http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/northern-ireland-poverty-summary.pdf 

 

03 April 2014: NI welfare changes: Peter Robinson warns of 'nuclear options'

Mr Robinson claims that if the changes are not implemented as much as £1bn would be lost from Stormont's block grant over the next five years. BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26862081 

 

03 April 2014: Ketamine 'exciting' depression therapy

The illegal party drug ketamine is an "exciting" and "dramatic" new treatment for depression, say doctors who have conducted the first trial in the UK. BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26647738 

 

03 April 2014: The Housing Benefit & Universal Credit (Supported Accommodation) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.

Click here

 

02 April 2014; SUN (Service User Network) Conference review. Available at www.chni.org.uk/

 

02 April 2014: House of Commons Work & Pensions Committee: Support for housing costs in the reformed welfare system (pdf).

Click here

 

02 April 2014: Northern Ireland politicians shroud waving over welfare reform? BBC Site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26849025

 

01 April 2014: £180m scheme for social housing in Northern Ireland

A record finance deal worth £180m will kick-start the construction of 1,600 new homes in Northern Ireland. BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26830920

 


ADVICE POSTER.

This poster, funded by the Public Health Agency, lists temporary accommodation providers, advice agencies and other support services. Click here to view.





worth a look: links & publications





►Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T) homelessness in Northern Ireland. http://www.nihe.gov.uk/through_our_eyes.pdf


► FEANTSA: Housing First Europe – Results of a European Social Experimentation Project. From European Journal of Homelessness: Volume 8, Issue 1, 2014  |  See also Housing First Europe: a “social experimentation project” (here)


►Translating Housing: Berlin-Belfast. Explores the similarities between both cities and the sharply contrasting ways that innovation in housing developments has helped create and maintain inclusive, sustainable and civil urban society. http://www.nihe.gov.uk/translating_housing_berlin_belfast.pdf


►Living in the Private Rented Sector: The experiences of tenants: commissioned by the Housing Executive's Research Unit, and undertaken by the University of Ulster, forms part of a wider piece of research on the private rented sector. http://www.nihe.gov.uk/living_in_the_private_rented_sector.pdf


► Measuring Homelessness and Housing Exclusion in Northern Ireland: A test of the ETHOS typology. http://www.nihe.gov.uk/measuring_homelessness_and_housing_exclusion_in_northern_ireland.pdf


►The Impact of the Housing Benefit Reforms on the Social Rented Sector: A Study for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Department for Social Development (May 2013). http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/hb_report_draft_final_3_july_changes_accepted.pdf


►Review of Social Rent Setting in Northern Ireland (February 2013). http://www.nihe.gov.uk/final_rent_setting.pdf


►Effectiveness of Floating Support - final report December 2012: full report (http://www.nihe.gov.uk/effectiveness_of_floating_support_-_final_report_december_2012.pdf) and summary (http://www.nihe.gov.uk/effectiveness_of_floating_support_summary_report_december_2012.pdf)


►Glasgow Housing Options pilot evaluation study. Exec. summary (2014)


►Turning Point Scotland (2013): Turning Point Scotland’s Housing First Project Evaluation. Executive Summary


►The Simon Communities of Ireland: ‘Homelessness, Ageing and Dying'


►Are Housing First Programs Effective? A Research Note (here)


►The Simon Communities of Ireland: Which way home? The experience of The Simon Communities introducing housing led services


►Glasgow Housing Association. Housing Options Study (2011). Final report.


►The Simon Communities of Ireland: Left out in the cold. A review of rural homelessness in Ireland.


►St Mungo’s (England): Needs to know. Including single homelessness in Joint Strategic Needs Assessments


►How are social housing tenants and landlords being affected by welfare reforms? Joseph Rowntree research


FEANTSA Country Fiche 2014: UK (with NI section provided by CHNI). Annual report providing an overview of homelessness and homeless policies in different EU countries.


Crisis England research report. Turned away: The treatment of single homeless people by local authority homelessness services in England. Eight mystery shoppers visited 16 local authorities across England to examine the quality of assistance single homeless people receive from Housing Options and homelessness services. The report reveals that at the majority of visits mystery shoppers were not adequately assisted.


►The role of housing organisations in reducing poverty. Scoping report by JRF.


►Crisis England: Staircases, Elevators and Cycles of Change. ‘Housing First’ and Other Housing  Models for Homeless People with Complex Support Needs. Summary, July 2010


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Thanks to all who took part in Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW) 2014!


A great, big, thank you and congratulations to everyone who made HAW 2014 such a success.


Over 30% more organisations got involved, compared to last year, to raise awareness of homelessness, challenge stereotypes, and highlight the excellent services provided across NI.


From sofa pushing, to lighting up the front of Stormont, events were innovative, fun, and hard hitting.


It was especially encouraging that service user groups were actively involved this year, as well as MLAs, statutory and voluntary agencies, providers, and their partners.


If you have any pictures and / or reviews of events you held that you would like to share with us, please forward onto George Quinn, info@chni.org.uk, and we will collate these on our website.


Once again, thank you for all your hard work. Congratulations.




Ricky Rowledge, CEO, Council for the Homeless NI

Video: Belfast City Hall hosts Christmas lunch for 80 homeless people, organised by homelessness organisations, including CHNI, Dec 2014. Pictured, L-R: Méabh Austin, Development Officer CHNI FareShare, Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon, Margaret Henry Deputy CEO, CHNI, and Kathy Henry, PA to CEO, CHNI.

Link not working? Try this alternative link:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5QcZ_ryZAU