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Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Policy

With the Assembly election just days away, we’ve taken a look at the housing content of the main parties’ election manifestos.

Alliance

The Alliance manifesto has 39 pledges on housing, including the following:

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Policy, NI Assembly

‘Resolving Disputes outside of the Court System’ took place at the Inn of Court, Belfast on 15 February.  The event was set up in response to the Department for Communities’ Department’s newly published Private Rented Sector in Northern Ireland - Proposals for Change which is currently out for public consultation.  The consultation document includes a proposal to: “Examine the

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Outside NI, Private Tenancies, Policy

Housing Rights response to the Housing Executive’s draft Homelessness Strategy for 2017-2022.

Housing Rights is pleased to respond to the consultation on the Housing Executive’s draft Homelessness Strategy 2017-2022. The response is divided into two sections. The first section (points 1 to 5) focuses on each Objective specifically, and offers comment and suggestions on the actions contained under each Objective. The second section (point 6) considers the outcomes model of the Strategy, and makes several recommendations which aim to maximise the effectiveness of the outcomes model.

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Regulation, Policy, Homelessness

Officials from the Department for Communities attended our Housing Advice Practitioner’s Forum, to elicit feedback from attendees on their proposals for change to the private rented sector in Northern Ireland.

During the meeting, Department officials outlined the main proposals, which relate to the following key areas:

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Policy, Landlord

Housing Rights Consultation Response to Proposals to seek reversal of the reclassification of registered social housing providers in Northern Ireland

Housing Rights welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Department’s proposals to seek reversal of the ONS reclassification of registered social housing providers in Northern Ireland.

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Social Tenancies, Policy

Housing Rights Consultation Response on Reforming the Rating System

Housing Rights notes that several aspects of our response to the previous ‘Review of Rate Liability in the Domestic Rental Sector’ have not been incorporated in the draft proposals. The specific issues raised, which largely relate to rates liability in the rental sector as well as rates recovery, are significant concerns for those who contact our advice service for assistance. It is with disappointment, therefore, that we note that none of these points have been progressed to the proposals contained in the current paper.

The substance of this response therefore contains specific comments on particular proposals contained in the ‘Rates Rethink’ paper, as well as reiterating points made in relation to the previous review of rate liability in the domestic rental sector, which the current proposals are silent on.

 

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Money Matters, Regulation, Policy

In October 2016 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it was consulting on new guidance on the treatment of customers with mortgage arrears.

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Regulation, Repossession, Policy, Affordability

Housing Rights Policy Response FCA's fair treatment of mortgage customers in payment shortfall

Housing Rights broadly welcomes the Financial Conduct Authority’s response to this issue, which aims to provide a framework which lenders can use to ensure ‘fair remediation for customers.’ We welcome the FCA’s characterisation of lenders’ practices as ‘automatic capitalisation’, leading to customers making overpayments, and the recognition that this may have led to unfair customer outcomes. Housing Rights also welcomes the FCA’s statement that they ‘expect firms to put this right, and ensure the practice ceases.’

Housing Rights is pleased to offer several further comments on particular aspects of the proposed guidance framework, with the aim of ensuring that the framework fully provides fair remediation for affected customers.

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Regulation, Repossession, Policy, Affordability

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