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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Affordability

In the recently launched consultation on social housing allocations, the Department for Communities made 20 proposals. We consider one of the biggest of these: allowing the Housing Executive to discharge “Full Duty Applicant” (FDA) homeless households into the private rented sector.

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Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Policy, Homelessness, Affordability

Chancellor for the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, has announced a £1.5 billion package to address some of the concerns which have been raised in relation to Universal Credit.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Affordability

In January 2017 the temporary absence rules for Housing Benefit changed. Since then, there has been a four-week limit placed on absences outside Northern Ireland. If a person is absent from Northern Ireland for more than four weeks, that person is no longer entitled to receive Housing Benefit, unless the absence is for specific reasons.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Affordability

Regulations converting Support for Mortgage Interest to a loan have recently been passed. We take a look at how the new payments of SMI will operate for claimants.

Loans for mortgage interest

All payments of SMI made on or after 6th April 2018 will take the form of a loan.

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Benefits, Repossession, Welfare Reform, Affordability

According to HomeLet rental index for September 2017, the average rents in Northern Ireland have increased at double the UK rate over the past 12 months.

The survey shows the average rent in Northern Ireland in September 2017 rose 4.3% to £636, from £610 in September 2016.

Housing Rights Policy and Practice Officer, Sarah Corrigan, is concerned by the news.

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Research, Private Tenancies, Affordability

Homelessness is experienced differently by young people than by adults: the causes and conditions are different, so the responses and solutions must also be different.

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Minority Groups, Research, Homelessness, Affordability

Housing Rights, together with NIFHA, the Council for Homelessness in NI, Shelter NI, the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, Advice NI and Supporting Communities NI, is calling for the rollout of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland to be urgently reviewed to prevent issues that have arisen in England, Scotland and Wales being repeated in Northern Ireland.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Policy, Affordability

Elements of Universal Credit will pose significant challenges for claimants, advisers and landlords. Housing Rights has particular concerns about how Universal Credit deals with changes of circumstance, particularly in respect of tenants who move home during an assessment period. Changes of circumstances are backdated to the beginning of the assessment period in which the change happened.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform, Policy, Affordability

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is the collective name given to the financial help with mortgage interest payments which can be made to certain benefit claimants.  SMI can also help with the costs of certain loans secured on a property. 

SMI can be claimed by people who are in receipt of

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Benefits, Repossession, Welfare Reform, Affordability

On 18th June, the rate of Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) will fall from 3.12% to 2.61%. This could have significant impacts on the ability of SMI recipients to stay in their homes.

However, this isn’t the only change on the way for Support for Mortgage Interest. Over the next few years there will be more changes that will further restrict and alter this benefit.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Affordability

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