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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

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Leading housing advice charity, Housing Rights, has today (Monday 3rd February) welcomed an announcement by the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA, that legislation will be introduced to extend the bedroom tax mitigation beyond March 2020, when this vital protection was otherwise due to end.

Speaking about the announcement, Housing Rights Policy & Practice Manager Kate McCauley said:

From 1 January 2019 new claimants of Universal Credit will have access to a contingency fund without having to first apply for an advance payment. 

The contingency fund was set up to assist those who had moved to Universal Credit, following explicit recommendations in the Evason Report for a fund "...to make emergency payments where hardship occurs as a result difficulties which are not due to any fault on the part of the claimant." 

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Benefits, Welfare Reform
 
Housing Rights’ annual Private Rented Sector Conference was held on Wednesday 20th November in the Skainos Centre. The PRS 2019 conference, which was sponsored by TDS NI, focused on raising standards in the private rented sector and the day was grouped into three sections:
  • Emerging Issues in the Sector
  • Current Challenges for Landlords & Tenants
  • Future Proofing the PRS

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Benefits, Brexit, Legislation, Outside NI, Regulation, Research, Social Tenancies, Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Policy

Lone parents in Northern Ireland are losing around £2,250 on average a year due to tax and welfare reforms, a new report from Human Rights Commission has found.

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The Department for Communities has released statistics covering the application of the benefit cap. Of the 1160 households subject to the benefit cap in July 2019, 530 had their benefits reduced by at least £50 a week as a result of this policy.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform
Picture of European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in a majority verdict that the application of the bedroom tax to a woman living in a property with a sanctuary scheme constituted unlawful discrimination.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Case law, Legal

New research from Housing Rights,  Falling Behind: Exploring the gap between Local Housing Allowance and the availability of affordable private rented accommodation in Northern Ireland, shows that renting privately in Northern Ireland is becoming increasingly unaffordable for people who rely on housing benefit to pay their rent.

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Affordability
Cliff edge coalition

Earlier this month, Kerry Logan, Policy Officer with Housing Rights, spoke at the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Association’s Annual Conference. The aim of the conference was to share good practice and discuss key developments in the social housing sector. Conference delegates included housing association leaders, representatives from the Department for Communities, statutory and voluntary agencies, as well as professional and commercial suppliers.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform

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