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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Funding gives NI renters a voice

Local advice charity Housing Rights has been given funding to strengthen the voice of those renting privately in Northern Ireland.

The funding has been awarded by the Nationwide Foundation, an independent charity that is supporting private rented sector tenants by giving them a stronger voice in the debates on their personal housing issues or in housing matters in their local area. The foundation helps tenants whose personal characteristics and circumstances mean that they cannot avoid the potential problems of living in the private rented sector - such as insecurity, poor living conditions, high costs and severe lack of choice - and which therefore puts them at increased risk of harm.

Kate McCauley, Policy & Practice Manger with Housing Rights welcomed the funding:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this funding.  We want to build on previous work undertaken with private tenants and believe that tenants, particularly those who experience the greatest disadvantage because of their housing circumstances, have a vital role in shaping the changes required in the sector. As a result of this 3 year funding we will be able to work directly with tenants to support them to participate in and influence policy and practice debates that relate to the housing issues they face.”

Northern Ireland’s private rented sector has grown dramatically and is now home to over 136,000 households, many of whom are on low incomes or are vulnerable.  One in three of all the calls received by Housing Rights helpline come from people who are renting privately.

Ms McCauley continued:

“Despite the unprecedented growth in the local private rented sector it has received comparatively little policy attention from government and Northern Ireland continues to lag behind other regions in terms of regulation and support. We look forward to involving tenants in helping address this.”

Ends
Notes to editors:
For further information contact Claire Moss, Communications Officer, at Housing Rights on (028) 9024 5640 (or in Claire’s absence, Peter McMahon).

Spokespersons will be available for comment

  • Housing Rights is the leading specialist provider of independent housing advice in Northern Ireland.  Established in 1964 the charity works to improve lives by tackling homelessness and housing problems.
  • Last year the organisation provided advice and assistance on over 46,900 housing issues.
  • The 3 year NI Renters Voice project will commence in October 2019.

The Nationwide Foundation

  • As an independent charity, the Nationwide Foundation influences changes to improve circumstances for those people in the UK who most need help. Its vision is for everyone in the UK to have access to a decent home that they can afford, and its strategy seeks to improve the lives of people who are disadvantaged because of their housing circumstances. To do this, it aims to increase the availability of decent affordable homes. The Decent Affordable Homes strategy began in 2013 and the Nationwide Foundation is committed to this strategy until 2026.
  • This funding has been given as part of the Nationwide Foundation’s Transforming the Private Rented Sector programme. The Nationwide Foundation wants to see a future for private renting where tenants are able to access and sustain their tenancies; where landlords and letting agents deliver a high quality of service to tenants; where tenants have a strong voice in the debates about housing; and where tenants have robust rights which are effectively enforced.
  • This funding will strengthen, support and champion the growth of tenants’ voice work, so that private rented sector tenants have more of a say in the issues that affect their lives and homes.