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Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Legislation

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out across Northern Ireland, with a number of areas already under the scheme. It replaces Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Income Support, Income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit (with the exception of exempt accommodation types).  Anyone of working age who currently receives these benefits will be affected.

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Legislation, Practical tips

The House of Commons has published a briefing paper “Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?”. The paper discusses private landlords’ reluctance to let to Housing Benefit claimants and considers whether this is a form of discrimination.

Some of the suggested reasons why landlords may be reluctant to rent to Housing Benefit claimants include;

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Benefits, Legislation, Homelessness

Local charity Housing Rights has welcomed the publication of a Northern Ireland Audit Office report on homelessness in Northern Ireland.  The report examines the scale and nature of homelessness locally.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 received Royal Assent in England & Wales on 27th April. Our Policy & Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Orme, takes a look at the key elements of the Act, and other recent progressions in homeless law.

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Legislation, Homelessness

Recent legislation limited Child Tax Credit for households with more than two children, where one or more of these children has been born on or after 6th April 2017. This means that a family with three children, where two of the three were born before 6th April 2017, and one child was born after this date, will only receive tax credits in respect of the oldest two children.

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform, Affordability

New legislation has just been passed which will delay the implementation date for the bedroom tax in NI from 23 January 2017 to 20 February 2017. The new legislation also makes new provision for social tenants to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) in specific circumstances.

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Legislation, Welfare Reform, NI Assembly

The Supreme Court has delivered its judgment on the discriminatory impact of the bedroom tax.  The Court considered seven cases and decided that there was an "inexplicable inconsistency" in the policy's differing treatment of adults and children with disabilities.

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform, Case law
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