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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland


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

The Cliff Edge Coalition is once again urgently calling for legislation to be passed to extend the welfare reform mitigations package. Without new legislation, mitigations will end in March 2021.The Coalition is further calling for this legislation to close loopholes in the existing arrangements which have left thousands unprotected from the benefit cap and bedroom tax. 

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

The UK think tank Resolution Foundation has produced a number of essential reports on the Covid-19 crisis over the past 9 months, including the most recent report focused on the necessity of reforming Statutory Sick Pay to support the Covid-19 recovery phase.

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Benefits, Coronavirus, Research, Affordability

BBC News NI reported last week on system failures within Universal Credit that have left some local tenants in rent arrears.  We’d encourage anyone who has fallen behind on their housing payments to get advice urgently, regardless of the reasons for missed payments. 

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform

Over 126,000 people in Northern Ireland were claiming Universal Credit on 26 April 2020, an increase of 80% from the figure of 70,000 claimants just 8 weeks earlier on 1 March, according to recently released information from the Department for Communities. The number of applications during that 8-week period totalled 65,700.

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Benefits, Coronavirus, Welfare Reform

Land & Property Services has advised that its online rate rebate portal is unavailable between Monday 4 May and Monday 11 May. This is an annual occurence to allow for the uprating of claims.

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Benefits, Affordability


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