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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

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 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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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 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