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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Benefits

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

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

In a recent statement, Amber Rudd MP, who was appointed Secretary for Work & Pensions following Esther McVey MP’s resignation, has advised that she will listen to expert guidance with the aim of fixing Universal Credit.

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Benefits, Outside NI, Welfare Reform, Policy

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

The Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018 were laid before Parliament on 5 November 2018. The most significant change brought about by these regulations is the removal of the restrictions on Universal Credit housing costs claims by job-seeking 18 to 21 year olds, a policy that was introduced despite much criticism in 2017.

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform
Picture of chancellor's red box

Yesterday’s budget contained a number of measures designed to mitigate some of the most controversial aspects of Universal Credit. Here’s a quick run through of the most relevant housing and welfare announcements.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

The Department for Communities has issued guidance on the effect of a recent upper tribunal decision concerning the meaning of the phrase “A person is responsible for a child or qualifying young person who normally lives with them”, which appears in the Universal Credit legislation.

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Benefits, Practical tips, Case law, Legal
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, Affordability, Legal

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