Minister announces a further £3m for Supporting People programme

Date published: 06 March 2024

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons has announced an additional £3 million in funding for the Supporting People programme.

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons visits a supported living scheme for younger people in south Belfast. The scheme is run by MACS, and the Minister is pictured with staff members Trina Harpur, Kate Martin (MACS CEO) and Mark McQuillan.

The funding, which is distributed by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to accredited providers, aims to improve the quality of life for vulnerable people through appropriate housing-related services.

The money will be used to provide supported and assisted accommodation for a range of service users, from young people to more senior citizens, and those with a variety of additional needs.

Announcing the funding, Minister Lyons said:

“I have heard first-hand about the difference that good-quality housing can make. This is true whether it’s a tenant in a Housing Executive property, or a resident in one of the independent living centres funded through the Supporting People programme.”

The Minister recently visited a supported living scheme for young people in the University area of Belfast, and also a residential complex for older adults in the south of the city.

“In visiting facilities which illustrate this range of support, it has been my privilege to be welcomed into people’s homes. I heard about the positive impact funding can have through enhanced living conditions and better services.

“When I took up office, I outlined my key priority to deliver real, positive and lasting change for the people in Northern Ireland.

“I also wanted to make sure funding goes to those who need it most, and it would be used to deliver positive impact.

“I recognise the demands on our housing system are great. Quick fixes and easy solutions do not exist when addressing such complex issues. This additional funding is intended as an acknowledgement of the need that exists in our society. My hope is that it will go some way to addressing that need in a positive fashion.”

Chief Executive of the Housing Executive Grainia Long said:

“We very much welcome this additional money and the Minister’s recognition of the Supporting People programme and homelessness services. The extra £3million will help sustain the services delivered locally by Supporting People providers and their teams. Given pressures across the housing and health sectors, it is vital that we continue to invest in programmes and initiatives that assist households to remain in their homes with the support they need.”

Notes to editors: 

1. There are currently 85 Housing Support Providers delivering housing related support to over 19,000 service users, across 850 services.

2. The SP Programme is a wide and varied programme which reaches out to a diverse range of people, largely categorised into four ‘thematic groups’:

  • disability and mental health;
  • older people;
  • young people;
  • homelessness. 

3. For media enquiries please contact the Department for Communities email: Press Office

4. Follow the Department on Twitter @CommunitiesNI

5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekend and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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