Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has written to the Housing Executive and the Federation of Housing Associations asking for an update on what arrangements have been put in place to deal with homeless people who may contract coronavirus.
Carál Ní Chuilín said:
“There is widespread concern about the impact of the coronavirus, particularly on the most vulnerable in our community and the homeless, and specifically on those who are sleeping rough.
“I have requested an update from the Housing Executive and the Federation of Housing Associations on their plans regarding support for people sleeping on the streets and the availability of services for them during the COVID 19 pandemic.
“I have asked what plans they have in place for people who use hostels who may become ill with coronavirus and have to self-isolate.
“I have requested information on the arrangements and support being put in place regarding rents for people who need to stop work due to self-isolation or caring responsibilities and find themselves in financial difficulty.
“I have also asked for details on how tenants will be able to have access to information from the Housing Executive in the event that the front-facing services may be closed to the public.
“Contingency plans must be put in place to ensure people sleeping rough are included in any measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”