A recent report from the Work and Pensions Committee has found the prison rehabilitation system “in desperate need of reform”. The report calls for improvements to be made to the, currently fragmented, support offered to people leaving prison, so that a transition into the community may be as smooth and positive as possible. The report states that currently:
A new report from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has found that migrants, British citizens without passports and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups living in England are being discriminated against when searching for a home in the Private Rented Sector (PRS), due to the Government’s Right to Rent Scheme.
From 30th January 2017, the amount of time for which a claimant will be able to receive Housing Benefit whilst temporarily absent from Northern Ireland will be reduced, in most cases, to a maximum of 4 weeks. The change applies to both working age claimants and state pension credit age claimants.
February 2016 saw the roll out of “right to rent” checks across England. All landlords providing tenancies in England are required to carry out these checks. The aim of the checks is to ensure that any person living in a rental property has the correct permissions to reside in the country and to contribute towards a more “hostile environment” for migrants who are here without the necessary permissions.
Housing Rights believes that everyone should have the right to live in a home which is safe and secure. Unfortunately, Northern Ireland, like the rest of the UK, experiences regular incidents of hate crime.
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.
The UK Supreme Court recently considered issues around eligibility of certain foreign nationals for certain benefits and housing assistance.
In Samin v Westminster City Council  UKSC 1 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal which sought to incorporate a proportionality requirement into the statutory test for eligibility, and to argue that the test itself was discriminatory under EU law.
Faith, an adviser with our Community Housing Advice Partnership, recently helped to have a young mother’s housing benefit payments reinstated. The Community Housing Advice Partnership offers a support service to partner agencies who work in the voluntary sector and need expert advice to deal with complex housing cases.