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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Rights response to NIHE Consultation on draft Financial Inclusion Strategy

Housing Rights has responded to the NI Housing Executive’s draft Financial Inclusion Strategy 2015-2018. The key elements of the draft strategy are:

  1. Increasing access to the right financial help, to assist customers to maintain and sustain their tenancy
  2. Helping customers to maximise their money
  3. Helping customers save on utility bills
  4. Reducing fuel poverty
  5. Focussing on communities

We welcome the strategy’s proposals, and support the Housing Executive’s core aim of improving their tenants’ financial inclusion and wellbeing.

Housing Rights views on the NI Housing Executive’s draft Financial Inclusion Strategy 2015-2018

We made the following key points in our consultation response:

  • Front-line staff are integral to the delivery of the strategy. We welcome the Housing Executive’s commitment to training these staff, thereby equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver the strategy’s objectives.
  • The strategy’s commitment to ensuring that front-line NIHE staff are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to proactively combat tenants’ financial inclusion, could be supported by actions to ensure that tenants themselves gain the skills and confidence to become financially capable. The Housing Executive should also consider a strategic partnership with credit unions and other stakeholders, in order to provide low-income households with access to affordable credit.
  • The impact of the strategy’s actions will be maximised by ensuring that front line Housing Executive staff are empowered to support customers across the lifetime of the tenancy. This should be supported by ensuring that any relevant Housing Executive policies and procedures align fully with the strategy.

Housing Rights is happy to engage with the Housing Executive on each of the above points, in order to ensure that the Strategy results in improved financial inclusion for all new and existing NIHE tenants.

Housing Rights resources on financial inclusion

Housing Rights is committed to improving the financial inclusion of our client group, which includes social and private tenants and home-owners. We have produced several pieces of research on financial inclusion and housing in Northern Ireland:

Towards Financial Inclusion: The expansion of credit union financial services for low-income households in Northern Ireland

Involving Everyone: Including ‘easy to ignore’ groups in housing policy and strategy development in Northern Ireland

Financial Inclusion and Housing Debt in Northern Ireland: Housing Rights Policy Briefing Paper

Tagged In

Money Matters, Social Tenancies, Policy

This article was written on 21 January 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.