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When everyone has a home

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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

Recent legislation limited Child Tax Credit for households with more than two children, where one or more of these children has been born on or after 6th April 2017. This means that a family with three children, where two of the three were born before 6th April 2017, and one child was born after this date, will only receive tax credits in respect of the oldest two children.

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform, Affordability

NI Co-ownership has recently announced some changes to its eligibility criteria. With this in mind, we take a look at some of the other options available to support people into homeownership.

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Practical tips, Affordability

Two research papers, recently published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Cardiff Metropolitan University, put forward recommendations to improve the Universal Credit (UC) system.

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Research, Welfare Reform, Affordability

The House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion has just published their report, “Tackling financial exclusion: A country that works for everyone?”

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Money Matters, Outside NI, Equality, Affordability

A recent research report from Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) in England has called for improvements at government level which would better the lives of households living in the private rented sector (PRS) in England.  Whilst the research does not cover the experiences of those renting privately in Northern Ireland, the findings are of relevance and interest

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Fitness, Private Tenancies, Policy, Affordability, Landlord

The Government’s removal of Universal Credit housing costs from some 18-21 year olds has garnered a lot of media attention. Policy Officer Stephen Orme looks at what these changes mean.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Affordability

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