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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Allocations on the agenda at next Practitioners’ Forum

Keeping our members up-to-date with the latest information on housing legislation, policy and practice is an important part of the work of Housing Rights and a key function of the Policy and Practice Team.

One way in which we do this is through the Housing Advice Practitioners’ Forum. All member organisations are invited to the Forum and, as it is a benefit of membership, it is free to attend.

Forum meetings will include a topical presentation from an outside body, followed by updates on what is happening in housing including the latest legislation and case law. The Forum also provides an opportunity for member organisations to raise their own clients’ housing queries with Housing Rights’ specialist advisers.

Hear about allocations at the next Practitioner’s Forum

At our next Forum on 14th November, we will be hearing from the Department for Communities on their current proposals for reform of social housing allocations. The Department have made 20 proposals, including:

  • Introducing an independent, tenure-neutral housing advice service for Northern Ireland;
  • Allowing NIHE to meet its statutory duty to homeless applicants by providing housing in any tenure, further utilising the private rented sector as a way of meeting housing need;
  • Reducing to two the number of offers to which a social housing applicant is entitled from three;
  • The removal of the award of intimidation points from the selection scheme;
  • Ceasing the award of “interim accommodation” points to homeless applicants who have been in NIHE-arranged temporary housing for at least six months;
  • Introducing a banding system for applicants to allow for better recognition of the time an applicant has spent in housing need;
  • Aligning the bedroom size criteria used for allocations with that used in social security legislation;
  • Broadening applicants’ choice of area by removing the requirement to designate two areas of choice on their applications;
  • Adopting a new allocation system, separate to the Housing Selection Scheme, for specialist accommodation, including sheltered accommodation and wheelchair-standard properties.

The Department will be briefing attendees on their proposals, and attendees will have an opportunity to raise any queries or concerns they have.

You can book your place on the Practitioners’ Forum by emailing our Policy & Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Orme.
 

Author

Stephen Orme