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Falling Behind: Local Housing Allowance research

Falling Behind: Exploring the gap between Local Housing Allowance and the availability of affordable private rented accommodation in Northern Ireland.

This research shows that renting privately in Northern Ireland is becoming increasingly unaffordable for people who rely on housing benefit to pay their rent. Almost 9 out of 10 of rental properties are out of reach for people receiving Housing Benefit with the research showing that as little as 12% of properties in the sector would have their rent fully covered by the amount of benefit available.

 

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Benefits, Regulation, Research, Welfare Reform, Policy, Homelessness, Equality, Affordability

New research launched today by advice charity Housing Rights shows that renting privately in Northern Ireland is becoming increasingly unaffordable for people who rely on housing benefit to pay their rent. Almost 9 out of 10 of rental properties are out of reach for people receiving Housing Benefit with the research showing that as little as 12% of properties in the sector would have their rent fully covered by the amount of benefit available.

The Work and Pensions and Northern Ireland Affairs Committees have published their joint report following the Inquiry into Welfare policy in Northern Ireland.

Welfare Reform Mitigations

Housing Rights welcomes the joint committee’s recognition that:

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Benefits, Policy

Housing Rights response to Department for Communities consultation on a revised definition of "affordable housing"

Housing Rights has responded to the Department for Communities’ consultation on the Definition of Affordable Housing.

The Consultation paper was produced by the Department to inform engagement on proposals for an updated definition of ‘affordable housing’ for Northern Ireland, with the aim of producing a clear definition which can be applied consistently in legislation, policy, local plans and practice.

Housing Rights welcomes the Department’s decision to put forward initial thoughts whilst also calling for additional evidence and insight from stakeholders to assist in policy refinement in this area.

 

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Policy

A consultation on proposed changes to the definition of Affordable Housing is currently underway. The Department for Communities wishes to revise the definition of "affordable housing" currently used so that it encompasses a wider range of housing products. 

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Policy

Housing Rights has been successful in securing funding to strengthen the voice of those renting privately in Northern Ireland.

Kate McCauley, Policy & Practice Manger with Housing Rights welcomed the funding:

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Policy

Local advice charity Housing Rights has been given funding to strengthen the voice of those renting privately in Northern Ireland.

Image from oral evidence session video capture

Housing Rights gave oral evidence to the Joint Inquiry by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and the Work and Pensions Committee. This Inquiry is specifically interested in the planned end of welfare mitigations in March 2020, Universal Credit (UC) and the two child limit.

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Welfare Reform, Policy

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