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Policy

The ‘Perfect Storm’: The impact of Covid-19 on private renters

A new report on the impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland, shows that those living in the private rented sector have been disproportionately affected, caught in the ‘perfect storm’ of low incomes (often as a result of job losses, furlough or reduced hours), job insecurity and tenure insecurity. In part this may be due to the increasing proportion of low income households in the private rented sector, and as such a policy change in favour of social and affordable housing will be key to a post Covid-19 recovery. The research has also shown that the support that many households received has been immensely helpful, but it has also shown us that it is important to remember that we may all be in the same storm, but we are definitely not in the same boat.

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Regulation, Research, Private Tenancies, Policy

Using the private rented sector to discharge the statutory duty to homeless households

In their 2017 Fundamental Review of Social Housing Allocations, the Department for Communities proposed that the Northern Ireland Housing Executive could meet its statutory duty to provide accommodation to homeless households by offering said households a tenancy in the private rented sector, subject to certain conditions. Given the lack of available social housing, Housing Rights appreciates the need for urgent action to address the growing waiting list for social housing and, in particular, the needs of people who are experiencing homelessness and waiting for unacceptably long periods for a new home. Housing Rights believes however that the sub sector of the private rented sector which would typically be accessible to homeless households provides neither an appropriate nor reasonable response to this problem. This policy briefing explains our position. 

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Policy, Homelessness

Minister Carál Ní Chuilín outlined her plans for housing in Northern Ireland in the Northern Ireland Assembly on 4 November. The statement was described by Assembly colleagues as visionary, radical and ambitious.

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Private Tenancies, Policy

As COVID-19 continues to impact people across Northern Ireland, our advice teams are dealing with increasing demand for support and advice from people worried about their housing situation because of financial pressures or illness.

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Coronavirus, Policy

Next week the Northern Ireland Assembly is due to debate the Housing Amendment Bill (NI) 2020. The Bill will go through the Assembly by accelerated passage and will amend existing laws for Housing Associations to facilitate the reversal of the 2016 ONS reclassification which made Housing Associations public bodies.

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Social Tenancies, Policy

With Stormont back up and running, our Policy & Practice Manager, Kate McCauley has had a look at the key areas which Housing Rights hopes will be prioritised over the coming months by the new Minister and those MLAs appointed to Stormont’s Comm

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Welfare Reform, Policy, Homelessness, NI Assembly

As co-conveners of the Cliff Edge Coalition NI, Housing Rights strongly welcomes the commitment in the New Decade New Approach deal to review and extend welfare mitigations beyond March 2020 to protect low-income households from t

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Welfare Reform, Policy

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