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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

November 2013

Pat has been Director of NEA NI for eight years. She has worked with Government sitting on the previous Fuel Poverty Advisory Group and the now Cross Sectorial Fuel Poverty Partnership Group where she chairs the Affordable Warmth Thematic Action Group. Pat describes her three housing related wishes.

1. Tackle the problem that is oil.

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Housing Genie

Pat has been Director of NEA NI for eight years. She has worked with Government sitting on the previous Fuel Poverty Advisory Group and the now Cross Sectorial Fuel Poverty Partnership Group where she chairs the Affordable Warmth Thematic Action Group.

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Opinion

Nicola McCrudden, Policy Manager with Housing Rights Service, explains what the Housing Rights Service feels the Social Housing Reform Programme needs to contain to cater for clients.

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Social Tenancies, Policy

Private tenancies in Northern Ireland are generally divided into two categories:

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips

When David came to Housing Rights Service he had been sleeping on his sister’s sofa for a few years and was finding it hard to cope. David is single and has a 5 year old daughter who spends weekends with him. He had presented as homeless to NIHE but was found not to have Priority Need.

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Practical tips, Homelessness, Adviser

Research carried out by the University of York and Heriot-Watt University into how local authorities in England assess medical evidence when making a decision on the vulnerability of homeless applicants makes for interesting reading.

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Welfare Reform, Equality

On the day when the Northern Ireland Court Service released figures showing a 20% increase in the number of possession orders granted, local advice charity Housing Rights Service says it’s concerned about the delay in setting up a Government task force to tackle the problem.

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Repossession

Brenda Parker is a Housing Advice Development Worker for Housing Rights Service and works at HMP Maghaberry.  She recently attended the European Housing First Conference held in Berlin in October. There are Housing First projects operating throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA. 

Below, Brenda explains how learning about Housing First has inspired a change in her perspective on homelessness solutions for prisoners.

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Social Tenancies, Homelessness

With the focus of government firmly on the future of social housing in Northern Ireland it is perhaps not surprising that issues relating to the private rented sector are lower on the Department for Social Development’s (DSD) agenda.

This is particularly evident in regard to the long awaited project to introduce a registration scheme for landlords – a provision for which was first included in the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.

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Private Tenancies, Landlord, NI Assembly

I recently met Teresa, a lone parent and Housing Executive tenant in rent arrears.  Teresa was at risk of possession and really needed help. 

Teresa was having difficulties paying her rent because she was under a lot of financial pressure and she had debts including a couple of payday loans which she’d taken out to tide her over at a time when she was finding things particularly tough.

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Social Tenancies, Practical tips, Affordability, Adviser

A recent Northern Ireland High Court decision provided important judicial interpretation on the Housing Selection Scheme rules and the allocation of housing to transfer applicants. The decision has already affected a number of our clients and impacted on how social landlords manage allocations.  Solicitor Chris McGrath outlines the case.

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Social Tenancies, Practical tips, Case law, Legal