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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Policy

Housing Rights has responded to the Treasury’s Breathing Space Scheme policy proposals.

Housing Rights previously responded to a call for evidence in 2017. In October 2018, the Treasury published detailed policy proposals regarding the operation of a Breathing Space Scheme and associated Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP).

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Policy, Affordability

Housing Rights responds to Breathing Space consultation

In October 2018, the Treasury published detailed policy proposals regarding the operation of a Breathing Space Scheme and associated Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP). The Breathing Space Scheme is intended to give people in problem debt the right to legal protections from creditor action while they receive debt advice and enter into an appropriate debt solution. With regard to the housing-specific aspects of this consultation, the following measures are proposed:

  • Housing debts could be excludable under the SDRP, thereby enabling clients to repay these debts more quickly to avoid eviction; and
  • Where housing debts are included in any SDRP, these debts would be prioritised.

Housing Rights’ views on these proposals are outlined in this response. 

 

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Policy, Affordability

Housing Rights responds to Breathing Space consultation

In October 2018, the Treasury published detailed policy proposals regarding the operation of a Breathing Space Scheme and associated Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP). The Breathing Space Scheme is intended to give people in problem debt the right to legal protections from creditor action while they receive debt advice and enter into an appropriate debt solution. With regard to the housing-specific aspects of this consultation, the following measures are proposed:

  • Housing debts could be excludable under the SDRP, thereby enabling clients to repay these debts more quickly to avoid eviction; and
  • Where housing debts are included in any SDRP, these debts would be prioritised.

Housing Rights’ views on these proposals are outlined in this response. 

 

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Policy, Affordability

Our experience as a housing advice organisation is increasingly evidencing the devastating housing impact of welfare reform. We therefore welcome the finding by the NIAO  in its Welfare Reform Report 2019 that welfare reforms in Northern Ireland are ‘likely to have a major impact on housing’.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Policy

The government has launched a consultation on a breathing space scheme for people in problem debt. The proposed scheme is accompanied by an additional proposal to introduce an associated statutory debt repayment plan (SDRP). Both the breathing space scheme and SDRP are intended to supplement existing debt management solutions.

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Policy, Affordability

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
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
conference speakers with the Mayor of Lisburn, Director of Housing Rights, Janet Hunter, and conference Chair Lorraine Campbell, Supporting Communities

On Wednesday 19th September, Housing Rights and Supporting Communities, together with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council held our annual joint conference ‘Tackling Housing Challenges Together’.

The conference focussed on Collaboration, Community Planning and the Wellbeing agenda and included speakers from local councils, housing associations, planning organisations as well as contributors from Scotland.

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Practical tips, Policy

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