McCusker calls for rethink on Belfast Homeless provision
“We have seen a 32% increase in the number of people presenting as homeless in the past five years. Given that recent reports suggest that the Northern Ireland Housing Executive is having limited success in their efforts to reduce homelessness, it’s clearly time for a substantial rethink about how we support those who find themselves without accommodation in Belfast.
“Every day, I deal with people and families in terrible circumstances who, through no fault of their own, have nowhere to go. The temporary provision available to families like this is wholly inadequate. I have been approached by one mother with two children in Belfast schools who were offered a hostel in Derry. No one should be forced to choose between a roof over their head and being able to send their kids to school.
“I’m calling for the council to convene an urgent meeting with the Housing Executive and the homelessness organisations in the city to chart a way forward. As the weather turns, it’s even more important that we support rough sleepers and all those who find themselves on the street. We cannot abandon people who have nowhere else to go.”