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Legislation

Housing Rights evidence to the NI Assembly Committee on the new Private Tenancies Bill

We have submitted evidence on the new Private Tenancies Bill.  Our written submission makes a number of points and proposals for amendments, and we wish to see a number of clauses strengthened.

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Legislation, Policy

Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Inquiry into the experiences of ethnic minority and migrant people in NI

We have used our client experience to submit evidence to the inquiry into the experiences of ethnic minority and migrant people here in Northern Ireland, and our evidence demonstrates the barriers faced by people. 

Read out submission.

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Legislation, Minority Groups, Policy

Housing Rights response to Department for Communities consultation on notice to quit

We have responded to the Department for Communities consultation on notice to quit.

The Private Tenancies Bill extends the notice to quit period from 28 days to 8 weeks, for tenancies lasting longer than 12 months. The 12-week notice period for tenancies of more than 10 years will stay the same. The DfC’s consultation is to investigate whether 8 weeks is enough time for a tenant to find a suitable home.

Read our response.

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Legislation, Regulation, Policy, Homelessness, NI Assembly
Picture of Stormont Parliament Buildings

Housing Rights this morning gave evidence to the NI Assembly Communities Committee on the new Private Tenancies Bill.

The Bill contains 11 substantive clauses and three schedules which provide for a series of amendments to the Private Tenancies Order (Northern Ireland) 2006. Housing Rights has welcomed the Bill as an important first step in addressing the issues facing many private renters in Northern Ireland.

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Legislation, Regulation, Private Tenancies, Policy, NI Assembly

Leading housing advice charity, Housing Rights, has welcomed the extension of emergency measures which will ensure private renters continue to have enhanced protection against eviction during the period of COVID-19.

Your monthly Universal Credit payment may decrease soon if you are self-employed. This is a result of the reintroduction of the minimum income floor and the gainful self-employment tests.  

Universal Credit staff can start to apply the "minimum income floor" to any person it believes to be in gainful self-employment from August 2021.  

This change could cause a big reduction in income for certain people. You should speak to your work coach urgently if 

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Welfare Reform

In the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chancellor decided to realign Local Housing Allowance rates so that they accurately reflected the 30th percentile of local rents. This announcement was widely welcomed, although many organisations argued that LHA rates should never have been allowed to drift so far from real market rents and that a more supportive emergency measure would be to increase the rates to the 50th percentile of local rents. 

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Legislation, Private Tenancies, Affordability

New regulations have been laid which will amend the income assessment rules for rates relief. The Rate Relief (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 are in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and the explanatory memorandum makes reference to a wider "ongoing policy development" of the rates relief scheme. The new regulations will come into effect on 4 January 2021.

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Coronavirus, Legislation

The ‘Perfect Storm’: The impact of Covid-19 on private renters

A new report on the impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland, shows that those living in the private rented sector have been disproportionately affected, caught in the ‘perfect storm’ of low incomes (often as a result of job losses, furlough or reduced hours), job insecurity and tenure insecurity. In part this may be due to the increasing proportion of low income households in the private rented sector, and as such a policy change in favour of social and affordable housing will be key to a post Covid-19 recovery. The research has also shown that the support that many households received has been immensely helpful, but it has also shown us that it is important to remember that we may all be in the same storm, but we are definitely not in the same boat.

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Regulation, Research, Private Tenancies, Policy

A new report on the impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland is launched today. The research uses evidence from case records relating to clients who contacted Housing Rights during the period March-June 2020 and shows that those living in the private rented sector have been disproportionately affected, caught in the ‘perfect storm’ of low incomes (often as a result of job losses, furlough or reduced hours), job insecurity and tenure insecurity.

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Regulation, Research, Private Tenancies, Affordability

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