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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

January 2022

Our 2020–2021 Impact Card outlines the positive impact that we have had on people’s lives over the course of the year.

As people across Northern Ireland were impacted by Covid-19 we saw increased demand for support and advice from people worried about their housing situation.

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Coronavirus, Policy, Homelessness, Adviser

We have used our client experience in this area to submit evidence to the inquiry. Our evidence shows the barriers people face:

  • accessing housing advice
  • accessing housing

Barriers to accessing housing advice

In 2017 & 2018 we ran a peer housing advice project for ethnic minority communities. We trained, supported and developed peer volunteers. The aim was for the volunteers to deliver housing advice within their own communities.

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Minority Groups, Policy

A notice to quit is a type of eviction letter given to a private tenant. The landlord must give the tenant a notice to quit before going to court for an eviction hearing.

Coronavirus emergency legislation

Legislation passed in 2020 which increased notice to quit periods from 28 days to 12 weeks. This legislation is currently in effect until March 2022. Before this, evictions in Northern Ireland could happen after 28 days' notice.

A new crisis fund has opened for people who are at risk of being cut off by their energy suppliers. The fund can help people who have almost run out of energy or who have received a bill that they cannot pay.

You can only apply for help if you meet

  • conditions about your income, and
  • conditions about your energy or fuel

You'll have to give evidence to show you meet these conditions when you apply.

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Affordability

Northern Ireland will head to the polls in 2022 to elect a new Assembly. A key task for the new mandate will be dealing with homelessness and housing issues.

Our policy work focuses on the experience of the people who contact us for housing help every day.  We think these actions could help to deliver good-quality, sustainable and affordable homes.