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Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Policy

Housing Rights responds to consultation on FCA Handbook changes

Since 2009, Housing Rights has delivered a Mortgage Debt Advice Service for homeowners in Northern Ireland. In 2015/16, this service dealt with 1,406 cases of mortgage debt. Our solicitors also represent borrowers in Court possession proceedings, including a strategic case involving lenders’ treatment of arrears. Housing Rights is therefore pleased to respond to the Financial Conduct Authority’s consultation on two Handbook changes relating to mortgage borrowers with a payment shortfall.

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Policy

Housing Rights has responded to a consultation by the Financial Conduct Authority, concerning two changes to their Handbook of Rules & Guidance.

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Policy

Housing Rights response to draft Programme for Government July 2016

Housing Rights is supportive of the broad ethos of the draft Framework in that the focus is on outcomes and achieved by cross departmental working.

However, Housing Rights is deeply concerned that the draft Framework, in its current form would fail to deliver change for those who need it most.
 

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Policy, NI Assembly
Speakers at the programme for government event

There was support for the inclusion of a housing outcome in the Programme for Government among delegates at a recent event, jointly hosted by Housing Rights, Council for the Homeless, NIFHA and CIH.

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Policy, NI Assembly

Last year, advisers at Housing Rights dealt with almost 3,000 issues relating to housing conditions. Of those people contacting us for assistance on dealing with poor housing:

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Fitness, Policy

Housing Rights response to fitness consultation June 2016

Housing Rights believes  that the current fitness standard applied to housing in Northern Ireland is unsatisfactory and needs replaced in its entirety. It is insufficient to make amendments to the standard which do not directly link housing with health. We believe that an internationally recognised system of best practice currently exists in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System  and that the introduction of HHSRS would not only benefit householders and tenants across all tenures, but would be of particular benefit in addressing the problems facing some Section 75 groups.

This consultation response explains why Housing Rights believes that the HHSRS is the best option for making real improvements to the quality of housing and will tackle inequalities faced by those persons in Northern Ireland who are most at risk of poor housing.

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Fitness, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Policy

Kate Ward, Housing Rights Policy and Practice Manager, discusses the need for housing to be prioritised as an outcome in the new Programme for Government Framework.

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Policy, Opinion, NI Assembly

Response to consultation on Proposed Increase to Court Fees

Housing Rights welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Increase to Court Fees. The organisation acknowledges that court fees have not increased since 2007 and that this must have had an effect on the revenue streams of the NI Courts and Tribunals Services (NICTS). Therefore, it accepts that the NICTS must try to recoup the full cost of the services it provides. However, Housing Rights is concerned about the possible negative impact that any increase in fees may have on the ability of people to have access to justice.

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Policy

The Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML), with the support of Housing Rights,  hosted a conference “The mortgage market in Northern Ireland” in Belfast on the 24 May 2016.

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Repossession, Policy, Affordability

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