HC Deb 23 February 1984 vol 54 c625W
Rev. Ian Paisley

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the estimate of the number of homeless people in (a) Belfast and (b) Northern Ireland.

Mr. Chris Patten

Current information in the form requested is not available at present, but a working group on the problem of the homeless has been set up to establish:

  1. (i) the nature and extent of homelessness;
  2. (ii) how successfully the present dual approach by the Department of Health and Social Services and the Housing Executive is meeting need;
  3. (iii) who is helped and by whom;
  4. (iv) the extent of unmet need.

The working group will report by Easter.

I understand from the chairman of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive that the number of special status applicants — category A1 in the housing selection scheme — was 249 at 31 January, including 78 in Belfast.