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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Policy & Research

Our policy work is based on the experiences of people who contact us for advice. We work on their behalf to secure positive changes to housing legislation, policy and practice in Northern Ireland. You can read more about what we are striving to achieve in the coming year by downloading our policy priorities.

Below, you will find copies of policy briefings, consultation responses and research papers that Housing Rights has produced recently.

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

Using the private rented sector to discharge the statutory duty to homeless households

In their 2017 Fundamental Review of Social Housing Allocations, the Department for Communities proposed that the Northern Ireland Housing Executive could meet its statutory duty to provide accommodation to homeless households by offering said households a tenancy in the private rented sector, subject to certain conditions. Given the lack of available social housing, Housing Rights appreciates the need for urgent action to address the growing waiting list for social housing and, in particular, the needs of people who are experiencing homelessness and waiting for unacceptably long periods for a new home. Housing Rights believes however that the sub sector of the private rented sector which would typically be accessible to homeless households provides neither an appropriate nor reasonable response to this problem. This policy briefing explains our position. 

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Policy, Homelessness

Preventing Homelessness and Sustaining Tenancies in the Private Rented Sector: Scoping Project

A scoping project to inform innovation in future service delivery around accessing and sustaining tenancies in the private rented sector by understanding the practical support needs of low income private tenants.

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Private Tenancies

Preventing and alleviating homelessness in the face of COVID-19

Recommendations to prevent and alleviate homelessness caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic

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Coronavirus, Homelessness

How the Assembly can deal with housing problems created by Covid-19

This briefing paper details the ways in which we foresee Covid-19 and associated economic fallout impacting on homelessness and housing in Northern Ireland. It includes measures which we believe Government can take to cushion some of the worst impacts and help vulnerable people at this unique and troubling time. 

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Homelessness

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