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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Frances McGrath

Housing Rights has become the first organisation in Northern Ireland to receive a prestigious new business standard award for their commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

We were presented with our BS76005 Valuing People through Diversity and Inclusion award at a recent event at Stormont.

Peter McMahon, Head of Business Services with Housing Rights commented:

The Falls and Shankill become the first areas in Belfast to have Universal Credit introduced on the 13 June 2018.

Universal Credit will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.  Anyone of working age who gets these benefits will be affected.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

Lurgan, Newcastle and Kilkeel are the next areas in Northern Ireland to have Universal Credit introduced on the 30 May 2018.

This new benefit will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.  Anyone of working age who gets these benefits will be affected.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform

The Department for Communities has released the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin for October to December 2017.  The Bulletin highlights trends in several current policy issues such as homelessness, housing supply and house prices.

Homelessness

3,889 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during October – December 2017. This is a decrease of 744 (16%) from the previous quarter (4,643).

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Research, Policy

One of our prison housing advisers recently helped a vulnerable client secure suitable accommodation on her release from prison.

Jenny was in prison following an arson offence on her previous home. Before this she had lived a relatively settled life.  She did have one other previous conviction prior to the arson offence but following the death of her husband her mental health had deteriorated, culminating in her trying to set fire to her home.

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Social Tenancies, Adviser

A Housing Rights project has had recent success when a volunteer became a paid employee with STEP floating housing support team. Gintare Housing Champion with Housing Rights

From the 6 April 2018, Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) will be changing to a loan.

SMI is a benefit paid towards the interest on a claimants mortgage and some home improvement loans. If a claimant does not opt in, SMI benefit payments will cease and they will have to pay their mortgage interest another way.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Welfare Reform, Affordability

Dungannon and Portadown are the next areas in Northern Ireland to have Universal Credit introduced on the 7 March 2018.

This new benefit will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.  Anyone of working age who gets these benefits will be affected.

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Welfare Reform, Affordability

Housing Rights adviser Amy recently helped 28 year old Ciaran. Ciaran struggled to meet his rent payments after being made redundant.

Sudden change in income

Ciaran lived in private rented accommodation, he had been working full time when he took on his tenancy and was able to fully cover the rent himself.

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Benefits, Regulation, Practical tips, Affordability, Adviser

Omagh and Enniskillen are the next areas in Northern Ireland to have Universal Credit introduced on the 21 February 2018.

This new benefit will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income based Job Seekers Allowance and income related Employment and Support Allowance.  Anyone of working age who gets these benefits will be affected.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

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