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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Welfare Reform

Over the past few weeks, the Northern Ireland Assembly passed legislation to protect over 40,000 households from social security cuts.  

Housing Rights has been pushing for this legislation for the last 3 years as co-convenors of the Cliff Edge Coalition. We're delighted to see 3 new pieces of legislation which ensure that: 

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform, NI Assembly

Your monthly Universal Credit payment may decrease soon if you are self-employed. This is a result of the reintroduction of the minimum income floor and the gainful self-employment tests.  

Universal Credit staff can start to apply the "minimum income floor" to any person it believes to be in gainful self-employment from August 2021.  

This change could cause a big reduction in income for certain people. You should speak to your work coach urgently if 

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Welfare Reform
Picture of woman with serious expression sitting at a table and reading a letter. Text over image reads "we have decided that you are not entitled to help with your housing costs"

Universal Credit may refuse a claim for help to pay a person’s housing costs if  

  • they think that a tenancy is not a genuine commercial relationship between a landlord and a tenant or  
  • they believe the tenancy was created to take advantage of the benefit system.  

It’s important to get advice quickly if this happens to you or to your clients. Submitting a well-argued mandatory reconsideration request can help to prevent homelessness.  

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform

Housing Rights is concerned about delays in the payment of welfare supplementary payments to people affected by the bedroom tax.

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Social Tenancies, Welfare Reform

The Cliff Edge Coalition is once again urgently calling for legislation to be passed to extend the welfare reform mitigations package. Without new legislation, mitigations will end in March 2021.The Coalition is further calling for this legislation to close loopholes in the existing arrangements which have left thousands unprotected from the benefit cap and bedroom tax. 

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

New legislation has been enacted to resolve the irrationality identified by the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for Work And Pensions v Johnson & Ors [2020] EWCA Civ 778. The plaintiffs in this case were penalised because they received two payments of wages in one Universal Credit (UC) assessment period.

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Legislation, Welfare Reform

The Cliff Edge Coalition welcomed the Minister for Communities commitment earlier this month to introduce new legislation to provide for an extension of the welfare mitigation payments. The Coalition also welcomed the Minister’s recognition that new regulations should include additional mitigations for families affected by the benefit cap and two child rule.

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Welfare Reform

The Cliff Edge Coalition NI urgently calls for loopholes in welfare mitigations to be closed and the mitigations package to be strengthened

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Welfare Reform

BBC News NI reported last week on system failures within Universal Credit that have left some local tenants in rent arrears.  We’d encourage anyone who has fallen behind on their housing payments to get advice urgently, regardless of the reasons for missed payments. 

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform


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