Landlords asked to help meet homeless demand for housing

Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Private landlords in Derry have been asked to help meet the growing demand for temporary homeless accommodation in the city.

In a new initiative the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has asked landlords to consider allowing their property to be used to help meet that demand.

Eamonn McGlinchey, the Housing Executive’s Homelessness Officer for the West area, said demand for temporary accommodation far exceeds supply.

“In the last year we had some 1700 people presenting themselves as homeless. We have 245 temporary dwellings in the city which we use in conjunction with the voluntary sector, as well as Housing Executive hostels.

“What we’re looking for is smaller-type furnished accommodation of a good modern standard. Dwellings should meet all health and safety requirements, with all necessary certification.”

He said the traditional reasons – young newlyweds, single parents, domestic violence - which contribute to homelessness have been exacerbated by the downturn in the economy.

“We do have people coming to us who are able to make their own private arrangements and find accommodation temporarily with family and friends. But if temporary private arrangements break down then we face greater demand.

“We have a duty to secure temporary accommodation for some people who are homeless and we need to have access to a portfolio of properties to be able to meet our temporary accommodation duties,” he said.

You can get more information by contacting the Housing Executive on 028 71 309603.