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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

June 2016

Stephen’s client, Esther, is a Housing Executive tenant who had previously fallen into rent arrears.  Esther said she’d been too embarrassed to talk to someone when she first fell into arrears and hadn’t gone to court when the Housing Executive had applied for a possession order.  In her absence, the judge granted a Possession Order with a stay.  This meant that Esther could continue to live in her home as long as she kept to the terms of the order, which were made by the judge in court.  Thi

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Practical tips, Affordability, Adviser

Yesterday, Housing Rights took part in a football tournament to mark the Northern Ireland team's send-off to the 2016 Homeless World Cup. Eight players will travel to Glasgow for the cup, kicking off their campaign with a match against the Netherlands on 10 July. Housing Rights wishes the team the best of luck.

Bedroom Tax

To ask the Minister for Communities for an update on the implementation of the bedroom tax. Mr Paul Girvan, DUP AQO 45/16-21

I would like to thank the member for his question and in my answer I would also like to address the question from Mr Girvan (AQO (15) 45/16-21), which also relates to Social Sector Size Criteria.

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NI Assembly

The Housing Executive has recently released their ‘Mapping Foreign Nationals Living in Northern Ireland’ report. Estimating the number of foreign nationals living in Northern Ireland can be difficult. But this report uses information from the Census 2011, information gathered from the NIHE local offices and other key reports.

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Minority Groups, Research, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies

Since landmark judgments in the Pinnock and Powell cases back in 2011, housing practitioners and legal professionals have questioned how human rights arguments can be applied to possession proceedings in the privately rented sector.  Carmel Ferguson, Solicitor with Housing Rights, considers a recent Supreme Court judgment that delivers clarity on this issue.

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Repossession, Private Tenancies, Case law, Legal

Members of the Assembly turned their attention to the private rented sector on 20 June, during a debate on the landlord registration scheme.  The debate came about on foot of a motion by Sinn Féin that the Minister urgently review the landlord registration scheme and an amendment to the scheme regulations, proposed by the Alliance Party, which calls for the regulation of letting agencies.

Housing Rights Director, Janet Hunter, was presented with her Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at Buckingham Palace for her services to the community in Northern Ireland. 

Janet has been at the helm of Housing Rights for over 20 years, as we provide advice, advocacy and representation services to people who are homeless or in housing need throughout Northern Ireland.

Speaking about her award, Janet said:

Council for the Homeless, the Chartered Institute of Housing, Housing Rights and the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations have come together to organise a free event on the 5th July about the Programme for Government

Last year, advisers at Housing Rights dealt with almost 3,000 issues relating to housing conditions. Of those people contacting us for assistance on dealing with poor housing:

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Fitness, Policy

With this week marking the first meeting of the new Assembly Committee for Communities, we have a look at the structure and upcoming work of the new Department and Committee.

Department for Communities

Our new Minister for Communities is Paul Givan MLA (DUP), Lagan Valley.

The Permanent Secretary for the Department is Leo O’Reilly.

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NI Assembly

Kate Ward, Housing Rights Policy and Practice Manager, discusses the need for housing to be prioritised as an outcome in the new Programme for Government Framework.

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Policy, Opinion, NI Assembly

Housing Rights will be running a 6-a-side football tournament and family fun day at the new Girdwood Community Hub in North Belfast on Saturday 30 July from 11:00-14:00.

The fantastic new 3G pitches will be perfect for players of all standards, while the surrounding area provides space for the non players to cheer the teams on!