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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Etain Ní Fhearghail

The High Court in England and Wales has recently heard a challenge relating to Universal Credit assessment periods. Joined claims from CPAG and Leigh Day solicitors were heard by the court on the 27 and 28 November. 

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Benefits, Outside NI, Welfare Reform, Legal
Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare

Housing Rights, with Advice NI and the Law Centre (NI) launched a joint report highlighting the approaching 2020 ‘cliff edge’ when funding for the mitigation package, agreed as part of the Fresh Start Agreement in 2015, is due to expire.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

As social housing becomes more difficult to access, many people who may traditionally have found a home in this sector are turning to the private rented sector for a home. However, some people face barriers in accessing this type of accommodation, not just through affordability pressures, but also due to their age. Our adviser talks through a case where she advocated on behalf of a young woman to enable her to take on a tenancy, despite not yet being 18.

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Adviser
Graphic from Karly Greene's presentation

Housing Rights held its annual conference on the private rented sector on 21 November. This year’s conference was sponsored by TDS NI and focused on changes, challenges and collaborations in the sector. The day was grouped into four themes:

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Benefits, Regulation, Research, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Policy, Landlord
Image of housing benefit application form and electricity meter cards

The UK Upper Tribunal has found that a First Tier Tribunal erred in law by deciding that a person who sold his former home and rented it back could not receive Housing Benefit. In an important decision, the court ruled that the test of whether someone could continue to occupy their home without relinquishing ownership is one of practical compulsion, rather than legal compulsion and does not necessitate that the lender has started legal action to recover possession of the property.

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Benefits, Practical tips, Case law, Affordability, Legal

The Scottish Government's 2018 Annual Report on Welfare Reform has estimated that UK Government welfare cuts mean that £3.7 billion less is going to be on social security in Scotland by 2020/21. Additionally, the report find that reduced benefit spending is a key driver of increased poverty rates for lone parent families and families with three or more children. 

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Benefits, Outside NI, Welfare Reform

AirBnB is an online platform, which helps people, largely tourists, find suitable short-term accommodation. For many homeowners or tenants with  a spare room, AirBnB has been a welcome stream of additional income, introducing them to tourists who are willing to pay to spend a night or two in a local home.

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Regulation, Practical tips

Housing Rights has produced a short video to encourage Universal Credit claimants to apply for a rate rebate to help with rates payments. Universal Credit does not provide for any assistance with rates payments. Instead, people receiving Universal Credit will have to submit a separate application for assistance with rates.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

Yesterday's cabinet reshuffle saw Esther McVey become the fifth work and pensions secretary in five years. The role carries overall responsibility for the Department of Work and Pensions, including social security benefits such as Universal Credit.

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Benefits, Outside NI

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