Louise Ferguson, community co-ordinator at the Larder food bank in East Belfast. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

For many of Belfast’s homeless who depend on services that are stretched to breaking point in normal times, the Covid-19 virus threatens not just serv(...)

Official figures in the Republic show there were 9,713 people in emergency accommodation last month, while 12,512 households met the statutory test for homelessness in the North in 2018-19. But experts say the data is not directly comparable. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Claim “There are 20,000 people homeless in Northern Ireland”. Who made the claim? It came from the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the leaders’ deb(...)

Sipho Sibanda and Aylisha Hogan pictured at the launch of A Prison Without Walls - Asylum, Migration and Human Rights report. Photograph: Amanda Ferguson

Human rights activists have called on Stormont departments to used devolved powers to “step up and make Northern Ireland a good place for asylum seeke(...)

Flood damage to the main Derry to Moville road in Co Donegal. Photograph: Brian Hutton/PA Wire

More than £270,000 (€290,000) in emergency funds has been approved to help people whose properties were damaged in the devastating floods in Derry on (...)

The commission is to investigate decisions made by the department which was run by DUP minister Paul Givan.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The North’s Equality Commission is to investigate controversial funding decisions made by the Department for Communities that played a part in the cri(...)

DUP Minister Paul Givan: said the scheme was hugely oversubscribed. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Nationalist politicians have accused the DUP communities Minister Paul Givan of favouring the unionist and loyalist “side of the community” when award(...)

Socially aware: Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and  Róisín Shortall of the Social Democrats. The party has unveiled its housing policy ahead of the election. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Social Democrats have proposed a new department of communities, housing and planning, as a means of tackling the housing and homeless crisis. The(...)

The reduction in the number of departments was suggested during the Stormont House Agreement. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

The DUP First Minister Peter Robinson has formally named the nine new departments that will replace the existing 12 Northern Executive departments in (...)

Eric Pickles: since he became secretary of state for communities and local government, his life has been dominated by planning regulations. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/PA

Eric Pickles, an ebullient, often blustering Yorkshireman, was given two pieces of advice by his predecessor, Sir Robert McCrindle, when(...)