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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

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A research initiative from the University of Ulster and the University of York plans to explore claimant perspectives on the experience of receiving Universal Credit as well as developing recommendations for the future evolution of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland. The project also hopes to generate lessons about the specific and distinctive operation of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland that can be shared with policymakers in the rest of the UK.

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Benefits, Research, Welfare Reform

This week, Housing Rights’ policy team had the opportunity to present at the All Party Group on Housing about the Cliff Edge NI Coalition and housing specific issues relevant to the planned end of the welfare mitigation package in March 2020. The Coalition, a broad group of over 70 organisations, has two key messages:

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Policy
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Mitigation payments have really helped the people of Northern Ireland to deal with the financial stresses created by welfare reforms like the bedroom tax. These mitigations are shortly due to end, something that will cause pain and hardship for many. However, mitigation payments can and have been lost. Victoria, one of our advisers recently assisted a client facing eviction due to the loss of his mitigation payment.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Adviser

Crisis’s most recent Homelessness Monitor 2019 for England highlights concerns that housing and welfare policies are increasingly leading to homelessness. 

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Benefits, Outside NI, Homelessness

Written evidence from Housing Rights to the Joint Inquiry into Northern Ireland's welfare policy

Housing Rights has submitted written evidence to a Westminster Inquiry examining welfare policy in Northern Ireland. The Joint Inquiry by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and the Work and Pensions Committee is specifically interested in the planned end of the welfare mitigations in March 2020, Universal Credit and the two child limit.

As one of over 70 organisations now part of the Cliffedge NI Coalition, Housing Rights has highlighted deep concern with the planned end of welfare mitigations.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

41 additional people or families stopped receiving extra payments to offset the impact of the bedroom tax between 1 October 2018 and 31 March 2019, bringing to 216 the total number of claimants who have lost this financial assistance, according to Department for Communities reports.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

Housing Executive research has found that reclassifying the areas used to set benefit levels for private tenants could have serious affordability impacts on young people in Northern Ireland.

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd has announced an end to three-year sanctions in a written statement.  This is the highest level of sanction that can be meted out under Jobseeker's Allowance and Universal Credit.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

The High Court in England and Wales has ruled that the government’s Universal Credit migration arrangements for people who had been in receipt of a Severe Disability Premium and who naturally migrated to Universal Credit before 16 January 2019 are unlawful.

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Benefits, Case law

Housing Rights is one of over 60 organisations in Northern Ireland which have joined together to express concern about the planned end in March 2020 of important mitigations which protect people from some of the harshest impacts of welfare reform.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform

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