Speaking at the latest full Council meeting, the Councillor for South Belfast said that while the Council’s role is limited there is a great opportunity to show leadership on the issue.
“Let me be clear, homelessness is not just about sleeping rough, but people who live in temporary or overcrowded accommodation and those facing eviction are also considered homeless,” he said.
“Last year alone over 19,000 households registered with the Housing Executive as homeless, with this staggering number highlighting we must act as a Council rather than continuing to ignore the growing problem.
“The challenge going forward is how we can develop effective interventions and tackle the many issues linked closely with homelessness, including mental health and substance abuse.
“It is a well-documented fact that any one person is only three pay cheques away from being homeless. So together we must acknowledge and re-affirm our responsibilities to those in hardship and, as a city, we must show generosity to our fellow citizens in need.”