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Regulation

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

A new report on the impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland is launched today. The research uses evidence from case records relating to clients who contacted Housing Rights during the period March-June 2020 and 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.

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Regulation, Research, Private Tenancies, Affordability

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made a number of changes which will give breathing space to people struggling with consumer debt during the lockdown. These temporary measures include assistance for people with overdrafts, credit cards, motor finance packages, payday loans and "buy now pay later" arrangements.

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Coronavirus, Regulation, Repossession, Affordability
 
Housing Rights’ annual Private Rented Sector Conference was held on Wednesday 20th November in the Skainos Centre. The PRS 2019 conference, which was sponsored by TDS NI, focused on raising standards in the private rented sector and the day was grouped into three sections:
  • Emerging Issues in the Sector
  • Current Challenges for Landlords & Tenants
  • Future Proofing the PRS

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Benefits, Brexit, Legislation, Outside NI, Regulation, Research, Social Tenancies, Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Policy

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

In February 2019, the Board of the Housing Executive approved the draft Chronic Homelessness Action Plan, which focuses on the “Ending Homelessness Together” commitment, set out in the Homelessness Strategy 2017-2022.

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Regulation, Homelessness

A new system for licensing and managing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) came into effect on 1 April 2019. The main changes are

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Regulation, Private Tenancies
Members attending Housing Rights Housing Advice Practitioners' Forum

Stephen Leonard, Neighbourhood Manager at Belfast City Council briefed members of the Housing Practitioners’ Forum on the new HMO regime, which comes into effect on 1st April 2019.

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Regulation, Private Tenancies
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

The Housing Executive has published the results of its analysis of the costs of poor housing in Northern Ireland. The report suggests that it would cost approximately £305million to eliminate category 1 hazards across Northern Ireland's housing stock, but suggests that such costs would be recovered within 8 years via reduced NHS costs as a result of improved housing. 

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Regulation, Social Tenancies, Affordability

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