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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Benefits

The Housing Executive will deal with Housing Benefit and Rates Relief claims for homeowners from 1 June 2022. Land & Property Services will continue to deal with claims until then. 

This change should make it easier for people to get help with their rates bill and is seen as the best use of resources.  

Existing Housing Benefit claims from homeowners 

LPS will transfer its caseload of open and ongoing claims to the Housing Executive on 1 June 2022.  

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Benefits, Affordability
Hands opening empty pink purse

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) will now focus on sustaining tenancies and preventing homelessness. This means the Housing Executive will pay people more in DHPs and pay these for longer.

We were part of a group who worked with the Housing Executive on a review of these payments. We're hopeful the change will give much needed help to renters in Northern Ireland.

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Affordability

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced changes to the Discretionary Housing Payments Scheme, offering greater support to private renters.

The scheme which is administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, provides top-up payments to private renters to help meet the shortfall between their rent and help with housing costs. 

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Affordability, Adviser

The next Housing Advice Practitioners’ Forum will take place online on Wednesday, March 30. The webinar starts at 2:00 pm and will include a presentation from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Keeping our members updated on the latest information on housing legislation, policy and practice is an important aspect of Housing Rights' work.

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Benefits, Legislation, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Policy, Adviser

Over the past few weeks, the Northern Ireland Assembly passed legislation to protect over 40,000 households from social security cuts.  

Housing Rights has been pushing for this legislation for the last 3 years as co-convenors of the Cliff Edge Coalition. We're delighted to see 3 new pieces of legislation which ensure that: 

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform, NI Assembly

We’ve seen an increase in the number of young people asking for help with housing issues in recent months.

Renting Rights is our specialist support service for young people in housing need. The service offers young people aged between 18-25 (or thereabouts):

  • Advice and information
  • Casework and advocacy
  • Mediation

Our Renting Rights mediator has been able to help young people to resolve a variety of housing issues.

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Benefits, Affordability, Adviser

We’ve seen an increase in the number of young people asking for help with housing issues in recent months.

Renting Rights is our specialist support service for young people in housing need. The service offers young people aged between 18-25 (or thereabouts):

  • Advice and information
  • Casework and advocacy
  • Mediation

Our Renting Rights case worker has been able to support young people to resolve a variety of housing issues.

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Benefits, Affordability, Adviser

Households in Northern Ireland are in danger of falling even deeper into housing poverty over the forthcoming months, according to local housing advice charity Housing Rights.  

With the withdrawal of government financial support measures introduced at the start of the pandemic coupled with soaring living costs, it is becoming more difficult for households to manage, with many accruing debts in order to get by.   

Picture of woman with serious expression sitting at a table and reading a letter. Text over image reads "we have decided that you are not entitled to help with your housing costs"

Universal Credit may refuse a claim for help to pay a person’s housing costs if  

  • they think that a tenancy is not a genuine commercial relationship between a landlord and a tenant or  
  • they believe the tenancy was created to take advantage of the benefit system.  

It’s important to get advice quickly if this happens to you or to your clients. Submitting a well-argued mandatory reconsideration request can help to prevent homelessness.  

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform

Young people who have been in care or who have experienced homelessness may be entitled to extra help with their rent from 31 May 2021.

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Benefits, Affordability

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