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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

May 2020

Next week the Northern Ireland Assembly is due to debate the Housing Amendment Bill (NI) 2020. The Bill will go through the Assembly by accelerated passage and will amend existing laws for Housing Associations to facilitate the reversal of the 2016 ONS reclassification which made Housing Associations public bodies.

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Social Tenancies, Policy

One of our advisers recently had a very positive outcome for a client who was looking forward to starting her new tenancy but quickly came up against a problem. 

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Money Matters, Affordability, Adviser

Confusion around the relaxation of movement restrictions in England have led to an increase in calls to our helpline from tenants who have been told to facilitate property viewings and inspections. There has been no change to the regulations in Northern Ireland which do exempt landlords or other property professionals from the general restrictions on public gatherings, movement and travel. The advice remains to stay at home.

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Coronavirus, Private Tenancies

Over 126,000 people in Northern Ireland were claiming Universal Credit on 26 April 2020, an increase of 80% from the figure of 70,000 claimants just 8 weeks earlier on 1 March, according to recently released information from the Department for Communities. The number of applications during that 8-week period totalled 65,700.

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Benefits, Coronavirus, Welfare Reform

Land & Property Services has advised that its online rate rebate portal is unavailable between Monday 4 May and Monday 11 May. This is an annual occurence to allow for the uprating of claims.

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Benefits, 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