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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Affordability

New research by Bristol University has investigated the UK poverty premium – when low-income households pay more for essential goods and services compared to those on higher incomes. 

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Money Matters, Research, Affordability

On Monday 16th January, the mitigations for the Social Sector Size Criteria (“bedroom tax”) were approved by the Assembly. Here we look in detail at what the “bedroom tax” policy is, and how the mitigations will work in practice.

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Affordability

In October 2016 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it was consulting on new guidance on the treatment of customers with mortgage arrears.

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Regulation, Repossession, Policy, Affordability

Housing Rights Policy Response FCA's fair treatment of mortgage customers in payment shortfall

Housing Rights broadly welcomes the Financial Conduct Authority’s response to this issue, which aims to provide a framework which lenders can use to ensure ‘fair remediation for customers.’ We welcome the FCA’s characterisation of lenders’ practices as ‘automatic capitalisation’, leading to customers making overpayments, and the recognition that this may have led to unfair customer outcomes. Housing Rights also welcomes the FCA’s statement that they ‘expect firms to put this right, and ensure the practice ceases.’

Housing Rights is pleased to offer several further comments on particular aspects of the proposed guidance framework, with the aim of ensuring that the framework fully provides fair remediation for affected customers.

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Regulation, Repossession, Policy, Affordability

From 30th January 2017, the amount of time for which a claimant will be able to receive Housing Benefit whilst temporarily absent from Northern Ireland will be reduced, in most cases, to a maximum of 4 weeks. The change applies to both working age claimants and state pension credit age claimants.

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Benefits, Minority Groups, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Affordability

Housing Rights is seriously concerned that the potential dissolution of the Assembly could have the unintended consequence of the Executive failing to mitigate the introduction of the Social Sector Size Criteria (the so-called “bedroom tax”) in Northern Ireland.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Affordability

Local charity Housing Rights is urging people who are worried about paying their mortgage or rent following Christmas to contact them for free advice

Catherine Feely, Advice Services Manager with Housing Rights, commented:

“We know that many people in Northern Ireland are struggling with debt worries after Christmas and may be worried about paying their rent or mortgage. We want to let them know that free advice and assistance is available and the earlier they seek help the more options are available.”

Housing Rights Research Briefing on Affordability in the Private Rented Sector

This briefing presents the findings of available research into living in the PRS and considers: 

  • The households that currently live in the PRS 
  • The motivations for low-income households to rent privately 
  • The affordability issues private tenants face 
  • Property conditions and affordability in the PRS 

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Private Tenancies, Policy, Affordability

Homelessness Awareness Week's (HAW) aim is to highlight the issue of homelessness across Northern Ireland, and to mark the continued efforts of organisations, staff, and service users working in the sector. In recognition of this, we look at how Housing Rights recently helped Sarah, a Housing Executive tenant at risk of losing her home. This is just one example of the many ways Housing Rights works to prevent homelessness in NI. 

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Repossession, Social Tenancies, Affordability

Financial Capability week runs from 14 November to the 20th November. Its aim is to raise awareness of the importance of financial capability.

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Money Matters, Practical tips, Affordability

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