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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

May 2017

Staff from the Housing Executive’s Housing Benefit Policy Unit will brief the next Housing Advice Practitioners' Forum on the Social Sector Size Criteria, or the “bedroom tax”, on Thursday 15th June, 2pm, at Housing Rights.

The Practitioners' Forum is an information event that updates members of Housing Rights on key developments in housing law and policy. It is free to attend. 

For many years, Housing Rights has provided housing advice to people entering and leaving custody in Northern Ireland’s three prisons. The housing advice in prisons project is funded by NIHE and the Northern Ireland Prison Service and is an essential way of preventing homelessness on release and sustaining tenancies for these vulnerable members of society.

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Benefits, Repossession, Social Tenancies, Homelessness, Adviser

Carmel Ferguson discusses an England & Wales Court of Appeal judgment which considered the question of when a residence should be treated as an individual’s principal home.

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Repossession, Case law, Legal

Housing Rights helpline team have been announced as Team of the Year finalists in the prestigious Irish News Workplace & Employment awards 2017.

To meet growing demand we centralised our advice services and developed a dedicated helpline team. It has been operating for 18 months and provides immediate access to vital housing and homelessness advice for our clients. 

Clare Rothwell, Helpline Co-Ordinator is ecstatic about being shortlisted:

Housing Rights and Supporting Communities held their 3rd joint conference on 9th May, at the Skainos Centre in East Belfast. The conference was sponsored by the Housing Executive, and supported by Radius, Apex and Choice housing associations. In the midst of the ongoing roll-out of welfare reform in Northern Ireland, the conference focused on equipping staff and empowering tenants to meet the challenges that this will bring.

The Department for Communities has released the Northern Ireland housing bulletin for October- December 2016


In total, 3,752 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during October - December 2016, a decrease of 23.8% from the previous quarter. The number of households accepted by NIHE as full duty applicants fell by 30.7% from the previous quarter.

Shelter UK has carried out research to investigate the relationship between housing and mental health in English adults.  Shelter interviewed 20 GPs across 6 English cities and over 3,500 British adults were surveyed via a nationally representative online questionnaire.  The results of their research were published last week and are summarised

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Outside NI, Research

Back in November, we brought you news of two successful challenges to the “Bedroom Tax” size criteria policy in the UK Supreme Court. The success of these challenges resulted in new regulations, which expanded the circumstances in which a household is permitted an “additional” bedroom.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Case law

Housing Rights has been providing specialist advice to homeowners at risk of repossession for many years. One of the avenues open to certain people facing repossession is an argument that the loan they’ve entered into has created an “unfair relationship”. Solicitor Chris McGrath discusses how this argument can work as it is important that those advising in respect of mortgage lending have an understanding of the remit of the unfair relationship provisions

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Repossession, Practical tips, Case law, Legal

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 received Royal Assent in England & Wales on 27th April. Our Policy & Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Orme, takes a look at the key elements of the Act, and other recent progressions in homeless law.

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Legislation, Homelessness