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1 After Article 6 of the Order of 1988 (becoming homeless intentionally) and before the cross-heading immediately preceding Article 7 insert—
6A (1) The Executive may formulate and publish a homelessness strategy.
(2) The Regional Agency and the Regional Board shall give such assistance in connection with the exercise of the power under paragraph (1) as the Executive may reasonably require.
(3) The Executive shall exercise that power so as to ensure that the first homelessness strategy is published within the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which section 1 of the Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 comes into operation.
(4) The Executive shall exercise that power so as to ensure that a new homelessness strategy is published within the period of 5 years beginning with the day on which its last homelessness strategy was published.
(5) The following shall take the homelessness strategy into account in the exercise of their functions—
(b)the Regional Board;
(c)Health and Social Care trusts;
(d)education and library boards;
(e)registered housing associations;
(g)the Secretary of State (in relation to any function exercisable in connection with prisons in Northern Ireland);
(h)the Probation Board for Northern Ireland;
(i)the Department of Education;
(j)the Department for Employment and Learning;
(k)the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety;
(l)the Department for Social Development.
(6) Nothing in paragraph (5) affects any duty or requirement arising apart from this Article.
6B (1) For the purposes of this Order “homelessness strategy” means a strategy for—
(a)preventing homelessness in Northern Ireland;
(b)securing that sufficient accommodation is and will be available for people in Northern Ireland who are or may become homeless;
(c)securing the satisfactory provision of advice and assistance for people in Northern Ireland—
(i)who are or may become homeless; or
(ii)who have been homeless and need advice and assistance to prevent them becoming homeless again.
(2) A homelessness strategy may include specific objectives to be pursued, and specific action planned to be taken, in the course of the exercise of—
(a)the functions of the Executive;
(b)the functions of the Regional Board; or
(c)the functions of Health and Social Care trusts.
(3) A homelessness strategy may also include provision relating to specific action which the Executive expects to be taken—
(a)by any statutory body with functions (not being functions mentioned in paragraph (2)) which are capable of contributing to the achievement of any of the objectives mentioned in paragraph (1); or
(b)by any voluntary organisation or other person whose activities are capable of contributing to the achievement of any of those objectives.
(4) The inclusion in a homelessness strategy of any provision relating to action mentioned in paragraph (3) requires the approval of the body or person concerned.
(5) In formulating a homelessness strategy the Executive shall consider (among other things) the extent to which any of the objectives mentioned in paragraph (1) can be achieved through action involving two or more of the bodies or other persons mentioned in paragraphs (2) and (3).
(6) The Executive shall keep its homelessness strategy under review and may modify it.
(7) If the Executive modifies its homelessness strategy, it shall publish the modifications or the strategy as modified (as it considers most appropriate).
(8) Before adopting or modifying a homelessness strategy the Executive shall consult such statutory bodies, voluntary organisations or other persons as it considers appropriate.
(9) The Executive shall—
(a)make a copy of everything published under Article 6A or this Article available at its district offices for inspection at all reasonable hours, without charge, by members of the public; and
(b)provide (on payment, if required by the Executive, of a reasonable charge) a copy of anything so published to any member of the public who asks for one.
6C In Articles 6A and 6B—
“the Regional Agency” means the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being established under section 12 of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009;
“the Regional Board” means the Regional Health and Social Care Board established under section 7 of that Act;
“registered housing association” means a registered housing association within the meaning of Part 2 of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1992;
“voluntary organisation” means a body which is not a statutory body and whose activities are carried on otherwise than for profit.”.
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