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JRF launches their 2016 report, ‘Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland’

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has launched its 2016 report, ‘Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland.’ The report draws on the latest data on household income, labour force participation, workers’ earnings and education, to show the extent and nature of poverty in Northern Ireland.

Key housing points from the JRF report

The report contains several key points relevant to housing in Northern Ireland:

  • 20% of people in Northern Ireland were in poverty, after housing costs, in the two years to 2013/14.  Since the recession, the NI poverty rate has slightly increased.
  • There have been major changes to the composition of households in poverty in Northern Ireland. The proportion of working-age adults and people in working families in poverty has increased. In-work poverty now accounts for 45% of income poverty in Northern Ireland.
  • There has been a significant increase in the number of people in poverty living in the Private Rented Sector, to the extent that there are now more people in poverty in this sector than in social housing. The report states that this rise is primarily due to the rising number of people living in the private rented sector. Ensuring that the private rented sector is an affordable and sustainable option for tenants is therefore a key concern, particularly in light of the recent DSD Review of the Private Rented Sector.
  • The report welcomes the mitigations of the Evason Working Group, as well as the non-application of the under-occupancy penalty (often referred to as the “bedroom tax.”) These measures, however, are temporary, and the report recommends the Executive deliver a new strategy which focuses on eradicating poverty in the longer term.

Housing Rights training courses

Housing Rights is offering training in several areas relating to poverty and housing in Northern Ireland:

Made of Money: Financial Capability Skills Wednesday 23rd – Thursday 24th March
Sustaining tenancies: Keeping clients in their homes Thursday 21st April
The impact of welfare reform on NI housing Thursday 28th April

This article was written on 15 March 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.