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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Money Matters

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

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

Lurgan, Newcastle and Kilkeel are the next areas in Northern Ireland to have Universal Credit introduced on the 30 May 2018.

This new benefit will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.  Anyone of working age who gets these benefits will be affected.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform

Back in November 2017, Chancellor for the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, announced a £1.5 billion package to address some of the concerns which have been raised in relation to Universal Credit. One of the main measures introduced was the concept of a “Housing Benefit transitional payment for Universal Credit claimants”.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform, Affordability

Arguably, one of the most controversial welfare reform policies – the decision to disallow the payment of the “housing cost element” in a Universal Claim to 18 – 21 year olds – has been removed by the Government today. Housing Rights welcome what has been described as a “U-Turn” in Government policy.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform

From the 6 April 2018, Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) will be changing to a loan.

SMI is a benefit paid towards the interest on a claimants mortgage and some home improvement loans. If a claimant does not opt in, SMI benefit payments will cease and they will have to pay their mortgage interest another way.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform, Affordability
Universal Credit logo

Strabane and Lisnagelvin will be the fourth area in Northern Ireland to have Universal Credit introduced on the 17 January 2018.

This new benefit will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.  Anyone of working age who gets these benefits will be affected.

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Benefits, Money Matters

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

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

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