Sinn Féin demand urgent answers on homelessness in Belfast
Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey and Sinn Féin MLAs from across Belfast have written to the permanent secretary of the Department for Communities and the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive demanding urgent answers on provision and plans to deal with homelessness in Belfast city centre.
The West Belfast MP said:
"Recent tragic events have highlighted the problem of homelessness and people sleeping on the streets in Belfast City Centre.
"There have been conflicting figures on the numbers of people involved and the exact number of emergency and hostel beds available to address the issue.
"I and the team of Sinn Féin MLAs from across Belfast have now written to the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities as well as the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive seeking urgent clarity on the exact numbers of people who are sleeping on our streets and what provision is in place to help and support them, including the number of bed places available.
"We are also asking how many organisations are funded or supported by the Department and the Housing Executive which deal with those sleeping on the streets.
"In addition, we are also seeking information on what options are being considered to open up premises for use as emergency accommodation in the city.
"As temperatures fall it is important that we get a full and complete picture of what services are in place to deal with homelessness and to identify any gaps there may urgently so that we avoid more tragic deaths in the future."