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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Strabane and Lisnagelvin have Universal Credit introduced

Strabane and Lisnagelvin will be the fourth area in Northern Ireland to have Universal Credit introduced on the 17 January 2018.

This new benefit will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.  Anyone of working age who gets these benefits will be affected.

Residents in Strabane and Lisnagelvin claiming any of the above benefits for the first time will have to make a new online application for Universal Credit. They could then face a wait of 5 to 6 weeks before getting their first payment.

There could also be significant challenges for households who move from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit, due to a change in circumstances, putting peoples homes at risk.

Universal Credit is being introduced for new claims on a phased geographical basis across Northern Ireland from September 2017 to September 2018.

Impact of Universal Credit in England

Recent figures show that half of all council tenants across 105 English local authorities who receive the housing element of universal credit are at least a month behind on their rent, with 30% two months behind.

Be prepared for the impact of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland

The Department for Communities, Voluntary and Community Unit, has made a number of bursaries available to attend a one day training course with Housing Rights. A number of dates are available in early 2018.

Participants will receive a comprehensive guide to Universal Credit and Housing in Northern Ireland, and will have opportunities throughout the day to apply what has been learned.

If you would be interested in applying for one of these bursaries please register your details and we will be in touch. Places are limited.

Get advice

Anyone who is worried about how Universal Credit might affect their housing situation should get advice.  Call Housing Rights helpline on 028 90 245640 and pick option 3 to chat to an adviser.

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Benefits, Money Matters


Frances McGrath
This article was written on 16 January 2018. 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.