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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Consultation Response

Housing Rights response to Programme for Government Draft Outcomes Framework

Housing Rights is supportive of the broad ethos of the Draft Outcomes Framework in that the focus is on outcomes, achieved by cross departmental working. A high-level government commitment to policy design and delivery which is outcomes based is welcome. Housing Rights welcomes the Executive’s Office intention that “the new Programme for Government (PfG) will bring a new focus to deliver lasting, real and positive change in people’s lives.” However, Housing Rights believes that due to the lack of a specific housing outcome, the draft framework will fail to deliver lasting, real and positive change for those who need it most.

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Policy, NI Assembly

Housing Rights response to draft DfC Budget 2021/22 Impact Assessment

Housing Rights welcomes many of the funding commitments in the draft budget, but is concerned at the lack of funding for initiatives to support households who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or living in unaffordable and unsustainable conditions. 

Read our response.  

NIHE Customer Support and Tenancy Sustainment Strategy Response

Housing Rights has responded to the Housing Executive's Draft Cusomter Support and Tenancy Sustainment Strategy for 2019 to 2022. We welcome the Strategy's focus on prevention of tenancy breakdown and homelessness and have made a number of recommendations in our response which we hope will help to ensure a commitment to tenancy sustainment across all tenures. 

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Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Homelessness

Housing Rights response to Department for Communities consultation on a revised definition of "affordable housing"

Housing Rights has responded to the Department for Communities’ consultation on the Definition of Affordable Housing.

The Consultation paper was produced by the Department to inform engagement on proposals for an updated definition of ‘affordable housing’ for Northern Ireland, with the aim of producing a clear definition which can be applied consistently in legislation, policy, local plans and practice.

Housing Rights welcomes the Department’s decision to put forward initial thoughts whilst also calling for additional evidence and insight from stakeholders to assist in policy refinement in this area.

 

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Policy

Housing Rights responds to NIHE consultation on draft Chronic Homelessness Action Plan

Housing Rights strongly welcomes the development of an Action Plan specifically dedicated to Chronic Homelessness, which is the first of its kind in the UK. It is our view that this Action Plan could have the potential to become the ‘go-to’ document on how best to respond to chronic homelessness within the UK. Housing Rights was therefore pleased to contribute a number of suggestions which we hope will be of use to the NIHE when amending and refining the existing proposals.

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Homelessness

Written evidence from Housing Rights to the Joint Inquiry into Northern Ireland's welfare policy

Housing Rights has submitted written evidence to a Westminster Inquiry examining welfare policy in Northern Ireland. The Joint Inquiry by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and the Work and Pensions Committee is specifically interested in the planned end of the welfare mitigations in March 2020, Universal Credit and the two child limit.

As one of over 70 organisations now part of the Cliffedge NI Coalition, Housing Rights has highlighted deep concern with the planned end of welfare mitigations.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

Housing Rights responds to Breathing Space consultation

In October 2018, the Treasury published detailed policy proposals regarding the operation of a Breathing Space Scheme and associated Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP). The Breathing Space Scheme is intended to give people in problem debt the right to legal protections from creditor action while they receive debt advice and enter into an appropriate debt solution. With regard to the housing-specific aspects of this consultation, the following measures are proposed:

  • Housing debts could be excludable under the SDRP, thereby enabling clients to repay these debts more quickly to avoid eviction; and
  • Where housing debts are included in any SDRP, these debts would be prioritised.

Housing Rights’ views on these proposals are outlined in this response. 

 

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Policy, Affordability

Housing Rights responds to Breathing Space consultation

In October 2018, the Treasury published detailed policy proposals regarding the operation of a Breathing Space Scheme and associated Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP). The Breathing Space Scheme is intended to give people in problem debt the right to legal protections from creditor action while they receive debt advice and enter into an appropriate debt solution. With regard to the housing-specific aspects of this consultation, the following measures are proposed:

  • Housing debts could be excludable under the SDRP, thereby enabling clients to repay these debts more quickly to avoid eviction; and
  • Where housing debts are included in any SDRP, these debts would be prioritised.

Housing Rights’ views on these proposals are outlined in this response. 

 

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Policy, Affordability

Houses in Multiple Occupation subordinate regulations

Housing Rights has responded to the Department for Communities stakeholder communication regarding the new Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regime. The Department has set out draft subordinate regulations to support the new regime, which is scheduled to be introduced from 1 April 2019. Housing Rights welcomes the opportunity to comment upon the draft regulations and Code of Practice for Landlords, which provide clear guidance to Councils and landlords and which contain a range of progressive measures that should assist in enhancing standards within HMOs and protecting occupants within HMOs

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Private Tenancies, NI Assembly

Classification of Registered Housing Associations in Northern Ireland: Consultation Two- The Future of the House Sales Scheme

Housing Rights has responded to the Department for Communities’ “Consultation on the Classification of Registered Housing Associations in NI: Consultation two – The Future of the Housing Sales Scheme”

We welcome the chance to be able to respond to this important public consultation. It is Housing Rights’ view that Option Three – ending the Housing Sales Scheme for both the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Registered Housing Associations, is the preferred option.

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Policy

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