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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Policy Briefing

Housing Rights calls for a housing led review of DHPs

 A policy briefing: ‘Recommendations for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) in Northern Ireland pre and post 2020, following a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities to discuss the operation of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) as part of a delegation led by Nichola Mallon, MLA.

 

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Welfare Reform, Policy

The impact of Welfare Reform on housing

A briefing document for the All Party Group created and presented by Housing Rights in June 2018. 

The document highlights three key areas of concern and included a focus on the situation post 2020 when the current scheme of mitigation payments are due to expire.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Policy, Affordability

Response to Report of the September 2017 Review of Civil Justice

Due to our developing experience and expertise in this area, Housing Rights strongly feels that there is a role for alternative forms of dispute resolution in tackling housing disputes. Housing Rights therefore welcomes the opportunity to engage in the review of civil justice. In particular, we are eager to engage with the Review’s recommendations to develop a pilot online dispute resolution system, and the creation of a Civil Justice Council as a strategic driver of improvements in civil justice.

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Policy

Response for a breathing space scheme for people in serious debt

Our work includes helping people with mortgage, tenancy and other housing debts, and working to ensure that our clients are empowered to sustain their tenancies. Whilst the consultation on a “breathing space” scheme is initially relevant to England, Housing Rights welcomes the potential for this to be extended to Wales and Northern Ireland, and is pleased to have the opportunity to contribute on this basis. 

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Policy, Affordability

Housing Rights Policy Response FCA's fair treatment of mortgage customers in payment shortfall

Housing Rights broadly welcomes the Financial Conduct Authority’s response to this issue, which aims to provide a framework which lenders can use to ensure ‘fair remediation for customers.’ We welcome the FCA’s characterisation of lenders’ practices as ‘automatic capitalisation’, leading to customers making overpayments, and the recognition that this may have led to unfair customer outcomes. Housing Rights also welcomes the FCA’s statement that they ‘expect firms to put this right, and ensure the practice ceases.’

Housing Rights is pleased to offer several further comments on particular aspects of the proposed guidance framework, with the aim of ensuring that the framework fully provides fair remediation for affected customers.

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Regulation, Repossession, Policy, Affordability

Housing Right Briefing on Licensing in the Private Rented Sector

This briefing considers the need for increased landlord regulation in the private rented sector, examining the need for licensing, best practice experience elsewhere and concludes with key principles which should inform the development of any such proposals.

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Private Tenancies, Policy, Landlord

Changes to Support for Mortgage Interest: The Impact in Northern Ireland

Housing Rights’ work, in advising and supporting people at risk of losing their home through mortgage repossession, evidences the critical importance of timely access to Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) payments. These payments are vital in allowing low-income households to maintain their mortgage repayments and sustain their homes. 

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Benefits, Policy

Housing Rights Policy Briefing on Letting Fees in Northern Ireland

With the Department for Social Development's Review of the Private Rented Sector ongoing, Housing Rights has prepared a policy briefing on the need for improved regulations in the charging of letting fees in Northern Ireland.

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Private Tenancies, Affordability, Landlord

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Housing Rights hopes that the operation of theTenancy Deposit Scheme, (the Scheme), which flows from the Private Tenancies (NI)Order 2006 will be addressed in the upcoming review of the Private Rented Sector. 

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Private Tenancies, Policy

Briefing on the Housing Health and Safety Standard

Housing Rights Service has produced a briefing paper on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as a means for determining the fitness of residential properties in Northern Ireland. Although the levels of unfitness in NI have fallen over the last number of years, the standard by which fitness is measured is of a very basic level meaning that many properties whilst passing the fitness standard may still be viewed as unsuitable for living in. 

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Fitness

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