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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.

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CHNI FareShare

how can we help you?
call us: 02890 246 440, or email us
Mail: from website

Homelessness Awareness Week  |  Saturday 22 - Sunday 30 November 2014

Each year, we provide an online list and review of the activities held during Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW).

►  Read about HAW 2013

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.

core training programme

substance use training

upcoming training

►Maintaining Professional Boundaries  | 29 Apr for info / to book, go to: core calendar

►Schizophrenia  |  30 Apr  |  for info / to book, go to: core calendar

►Safer Injecting  |  15 & 16 May  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Homelessness & substance use  |  20 May  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Naloxone administration | 28 May |  Antrim  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Naloxone administration | 29 May |  B’Mena  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Naloxone administration | 03 Jun |  E’skillen  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Naloxone administration | 04 Jun |  Omagh  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Naloxone administration | 10 Jun |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Needle Exchange & Opiate Substitution Therapy  |  12 Jun  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Basic Life Support and Overdose management | 01 Jul  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Emerging psychoactive substances | 03 Jul  |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use calendar

►Alcohol Effects Tuesday | 05 Jul |  for info / to book, go to: subs. use 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.

chni fareshare

No good food should be wasted.

CHNI FareShare 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 chni fareshare

SELECTED NEWS: NIHE pilot choice based letting Scheme

NIHE is carrying out a pilot scheme where available homes in a number of locations will be advertised weekly.

For more information, open Word document (new window)

Or visit NIHE site to find out how it works and how to join (new window)

service user involvement

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

sector vacancies


make a donation

latest news

policy related news

The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Supported Accommodation) (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 &


general training

CHNI Fareshare

substance use training

northwest office

youth department

staff contacts


archived news

upcoming chni events

Sectoral Research Group | 24 May 2014 | 2.30 pm | CHNI Belfast Offices

recent chni events

1st Meeting of Belfast SUN - date

3rd Belfast Harm Reduction Café

Service user Network conference.

youthspeak NI Assembly event

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


We believe that young people should be actively involved in the planning and delivery of housing and homelessness services that are aimed at them.

Not only should they have their say and be heard, but we believe they should get involved and shape their own futures and make their own decisions.

more about youthspeak

general advice


need advice?

about us

more about us

make a donation

jo bs


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 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: 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:

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

Read more (BBC online news) at:


03 July 2014: Repossessions taskforce findings due to be published. Read more (BBC online news) at:

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: 0Food%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: rch/stats-publications/stats-family-resource/households/poverty_bulletin.htm



23 June 2014: Homeless figures treble among private rental tenants (England). Read more (BBC online news) at::



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.”


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):


See also:

press release (feansta site):

and opinion piece by Freek Spinnewijn, director, FEANTSA (

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: ;jsessionid=098B2ED8A8C5B7A4662EBC448 D7C7A60?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.


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 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):


03 June 2014: Sammy Wilson: Corporation tax depends on welfare reform. BBC site:


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).


03 June 2014: Asylum: Rise in applications made in Northern Ireland. BBC news -



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:

01 June 2014: Housing Rights Service online article - ADVISER: Reviewing a decision that the client is intentionally homeless - See more at (Housing Rights Site):



28 May 2014: One-in-four Northern Ireland children will be living in poverty by 2020, new report suggests: Belfast Telegraph article - Save The Children report: nline-library/fair-start-every-child


20 May 2014: Homelessness - The dangers of life on the streets.

20 May 2014: Belfast homeless: At least five dead since January, says charity.

19 may 2014: Racist hate crime - Police launch dedicated phone line to report incidents.

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.


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. 


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 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,


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,


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:


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: 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. 2/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


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,



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. 8/food-banks-welfare-cuts-research?CMP=EMCSOCEML657


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. 


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: 


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: 


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


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:


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:



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

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

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