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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Practical tips

Levels of personal debt have grown significantly in the last number of years and consequently debt problems have become an increasingly large area of work for many advisers. The recession has exacerbated these problems for many people. Where a client’s debts include a housing element such as rent or mortgage arrears they risk losing their home if these debts are not addressed. 

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Money Matters, Practical tips

Members of Housing Rights gathered in June to learn about the most recent updates in housing policy and practice.  This was the latest in our series of Housing Advice Practitioners Forum, a regular event that provides members with an opportunity to keep abreast of latest developments and to discuss approaches and strategies for complex cases.

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Practical tips

A number of pieces of legislation which will impact on the work of housing and welfare practitioners have recently passed the Assembly.  Legislation is available online from Legislation.gov.uk.

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Practical tips, Welfare Reform, Legal

Stephen’s client, Esther, is a Housing Executive tenant who had previously fallen into rent arrears.  Esther said she’d been too embarrassed to talk to someone when she first fell into arrears and hadn’t gone to court when the Housing Executive had applied for a possession order.  In her absence, the judge granted a Possession Order with a stay.  This meant that Esther could continue to live in her home as long as she kept to the terms of the order, which were made by the judge in court.  Thi

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Practical tips, Affordability, Adviser

Affordability is the fastest growing issue for people who contact Housing Rights for advice. Increasingly, housing providers are also recognising the important role that they can play in supporting tenants’ financial wellbeing, by teaching them how to maximise their income and make wiser spending decisions.  

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Money Matters, Practical tips

Social Security benefit decisions made on or after Monday 23rd May will be subject to a new challenge and appeal process.

Mandatory Reconsideration

Where previously, a claimant could proceed straight to tribunal when challenging a benefits decision, from 23rd May the claimant must first have their decision reconsidered by the relevant body. This is referred to as “mandatory reconsideration.”

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Benefits, Practical tips

Housing Rights provides the only Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme in Northern Ireland. These court desks schemes, which are more commonly seen in England, provide free legal representation to homeowners and tenants who are in court for possession hearings and risk being made homeless because of housing debt.

Advice and representation at court can make all the difference as this recent example illustrates.

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Repossession, Practical tips, Adviser

When Brian first spoke to Housing Rights, he was living in a private tenancy and his only income was carer’s allowance. He was in arrears with his rent and at risk of eviction by his landlord. At this stage, Brian was not entitled to Housing Benefit, but our adviser agreed to take on his case and look into how she could help him.  

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Benefits, Practical tips, Affordability, Adviser

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