The NESC (National Economic and Social Council) recommended that an additional 73,000 units of social housing should be provided over the next eight years. It is important that the needs of single homeless people also be considered as when this kind of social housing is planned into the future.
Voluntary housing associations can also play a key role in the development and management of social housing. However, a certain level of commitment to funding for the provision of housing and support structures needs to be realised.
Currently, there is an urgent need for some additional hostel beds to get people in from the cold and rain. While there has been developments, such as a new 'wet hostel' (where heavy drinkers are tolerated) on James' Street, specific accomodation for active drug users is also required. Although there are emergency hostels for families, children over the age of twelve are excluded, and have to stay in seperate hostels away from their family. Dormitory accommodation in hostels for homeless people can be unsafe and lacking any privacy. If emergency accommodation were provided in single rooms, people staying there would feel more secure.
All these issues are complex and need to be properly addressed.