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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Policy & Research

Our policy work is based on the experiences of people who contact us for advice. We work on their behalf to secure positive changes to housing legislation, policy and practice in Northern Ireland. You can read more about what we are striving to achieve in the coming year by downloading our policy priorities.

Below, you will find copies of policy briefings, consultation responses and research papers that Housing Rights has produced recently.

Housing Rights Responds on House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion:

In the course of our work, we regularly advise and represent clients who are financially excluded. In our experience, financial exclusion is a significant concern in Northern Ireland, and the patterns of this exclusion are often distinct from the rest of the United Kingdom.  Housing Rights is therefore grateful for the opportunity to offer some comments on several topics highlighted in the Select Committee’s call for evidence.

 

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Money Matters, Welfare Reform, Policy

Housing Rights responds to consultation on FCA Handbook changes

Since 2009, Housing Rights has delivered a Mortgage Debt Advice Service for homeowners in Northern Ireland. In 2015/16, this service dealt with 1,406 cases of mortgage debt. Our solicitors also represent borrowers in Court possession proceedings, including a strategic case involving lenders’ treatment of arrears. Housing Rights is therefore pleased to respond to the Financial Conduct Authority’s consultation on two Handbook changes relating to mortgage borrowers with a payment shortfall.

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Policy

Housing Rights response to draft Programme for Government July 2016

Housing Rights is supportive of the broad ethos of the draft Framework in that the focus is on outcomes and achieved by cross departmental working.

However, Housing Rights is deeply concerned that the draft Framework, in its current form would fail to deliver change for those who need it most.
 

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Policy, NI Assembly

Housing Rights response to fitness consultation June 2016

Housing Rights believes  that the current fitness standard applied to housing in Northern Ireland is unsatisfactory and needs replaced in its entirety. It is insufficient to make amendments to the standard which do not directly link housing with health. We believe that an internationally recognised system of best practice currently exists in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System  and that the introduction of HHSRS would not only benefit householders and tenants across all tenures, but would be of particular benefit in addressing the problems facing some Section 75 groups.

This consultation response explains why Housing Rights believes that the HHSRS is the best option for making real improvements to the quality of housing and will tackle inequalities faced by those persons in Northern Ireland who are most at risk of poor housing.

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Fitness, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Policy

Response to a Review of Rate Liability in the Domestic Rental Sector

Housing Rights’ key concerns with the current system for domestic rates liability are in relation to affordability and transparency. 

Both these concerns are discussed in this response., along with specific comment on the proposals put forward by the Department in the consultation paper. 

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Regulation, Affordability, Legal

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