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Welfare Reform

In the past year over 100 member organisations involved in the Cliff Edge Coalition have been urgently calling for welfare mitigations to be extended beyond 31st March 2020 and strengthened to take account of the new challenges such as Universal Credit, including the two-child limit, and cuts to housing benefits in the private rented sector.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

How the Assembly can deal with housing problems created by Covid-19

This briefing paper details the ways in which we foresee Covid-19 and associated economic fallout impacting on homelessness and housing in Northern Ireland. It includes measures which we believe Government can take to cushion some of the worst impacts and help vulnerable people at this unique and troubling time. 

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Homelessness

Last week Housing Rights’ Policy Team were part of a delegation of Cliff Edge NI Coalition members who met last week with Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, along with senior Department for Communities officials Colum Boyle and Anne McCleary.

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Welfare Reform

Leading housing advice charity, Housing Rights, has today (Monday 3rd February) welcomed an announcement by the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA, that legislation will be introduced to extend the bedroom tax mitigation beyond March 2020, when this vital protection was otherwise due to end.

Speaking about the announcement, Housing Rights Policy & Practice Manager Kate McCauley said:

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

From 1 January 2019 new claimants of Universal Credit will have access to a contingency fund without having to first apply for an advance payment. 

The contingency fund was set up to assist those who had moved to Universal Credit, following explicit recommendations in the Evason Report for a fund "...to make emergency payments where hardship occurs as a result difficulties which are not due to any fault on the part of the claimant." 

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) released a report providing an update on the future welfare mitigation support measures that will be in place after March 2020, in line with the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act 2019.

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Welfare Reform

Housing Rights is one of over 100 members of the Cliff Edge NI Coalition, who have come together to highlight their shared concerns about the potential ‘cliff edge’ of the end of the welfare reform mitigations in March 2020, and their fears about a range of new welfare challenges which have emerged since the original mitigations were introduced.

The Coalition’s briefing paper outlines our key messages:

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Welfare Reform

Newly published statistics show 53% of the people who receive help with housing costs under Universal Credit rent privately. Of these, only 59% have the housing costs element paid directly to the landlord, despite the default position being that payments should be made directly to the landlord.

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Welfare Reform

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