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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Consultation Response

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

Housing Rights Response to the SSAC Consultation on the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (Managed Migration) Amendment Regulations 2018

We welcome the publication of a Consultation asking for views on the Government’s proposed transitional protection measures, which will operate during the process of “managed migration”.

This is the move from legacy benefits onto Universal Credit, due to commence in NI in July 2019.

It is Housing Rights’ view that further evaluation and refinement of these Regulations is required. We have offered the organisation’s views on the housing impacts of these Regulations.

 

Housing Rights response to DfC proposals - A fundamental review of social housing allocations

We welcome the publication of a Review which aims to achieve a fair, transparent and effective Housing Selection Scheme in Northern Ireland, ensuring applicants in the greatest need have their housing needs met. It is Housing Rights’ view that further evaluation and/or refinement of some of the proposals cited could strengthen the impact of such proposals and ensure the Department’s aim is achieved. Housing Rights has offered the organisation’s views on how this may be best achieved within our response. 

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Social Tenancies, Policy

Housing Rights response to Prisons Service "Prisons 2020" discussion document

Housing Rights has responded to the Prisons’ Service “Prisons 2020” discussion document, which aims to “provide an efficient, effective, modern and affordable service which is focused on the development of staff and capable of rehabilitating people in custody.”

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Homelessness

Housing Rights response to proposals for the private rented sector

Housing Rights has responded to the Department for Communities’ consultation on the Proposals for Change in the Private Rented Sector. We welcome many of the proposals, but have suggested further refinement in some areas to strengthen their impact on the ground. 

 

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Private Tenancies, Policy

Housing Rights response to the Housing Executive’s draft Homelessness Strategy for 2017-2022.

Housing Rights is pleased to respond to the consultation on the Housing Executive’s draft Homelessness Strategy 2017-2022. The response is divided into two sections. The first section (points 1 to 5) focuses on each Objective specifically, and offers comment and suggestions on the actions contained under each Objective. The second section (point 6) considers the outcomes model of the Strategy, and makes several recommendations which aim to maximise the effectiveness of the outcomes model.

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Regulation, Policy, Homelessness

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