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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

June 2014

A huge thank you to everyone who supported our Wizard of Oz screening at the Strand Arts Centre last night-we hope you enjoyed your evening.  We were delighted to see so many of you getting into the Oz spirit with such fantastic costumes.

We would like to extend our thanks to our sponsors Avec Solutions for sponsoring our fabulous venue, The Bank of Ireland who provided the wine for our drinks reception, and the numerous companies who provided raffle prizes.

Tenancy deposit protection schemes have been operating in Northern Ireland for just over a year.  The summer months in Northern Ireland are always a busy time for tenancy changeovers, particularly in college towns where large numbers of students live.  With this in mind, it’s important to understand how deposit protection works for joint tenants.

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Private Tenancies, Landlord

The mere mention of court can often scare a client and Small Claims Court is no exception.  While going to court is worrying to clients, it can also strike fear into the heart of an inexperienced adviser.  Small Claims Court is supposed to be a simpler form of court procedure that is quick and easy to use, but it’s still important that advisers are aware of the formalities that need to observed.

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Practical tips, Legal, Adviser

NICVA's Centre for Economic Empowerment has launched a new report into the feasibility of introducing a Land Value Tax (LVT) in Northern Ireland – to replace the current system of rates based on capital values.

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Policy, Legal

Housing Right Service has launched a new video to help tenants make the most of living in the private rented sector. Entitled ‘The Key to Successful Renting’, it takes the form of a 3 minute video and is designed to help people find private rented accommodation and understand their rights.

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies

Did you know that by attending our Housing Advice Practitioners’ Forum three times a year:

In a recent press release, the Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, has reiterated the importance of protecting private tenants’ deposits. The Minister highlighted that within the first year of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme operating over 18,500 tenancy deposits, totalling £10 million, have been protected.

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Private Tenancies, Legal

The Housing Executive has started writing to certain people on the social housing waiting list to tell them about privately rented housing that is available in their areas.

Smartmove Housing will manage these private tenancies.  Smartmove will provide initial support to new tenants and will make referrals to other agencies for tenants who need additional support to help manage and sustain their tenancy.

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Private Tenancies, Homelessness
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Housing Rights Service is currently holding a number of roadshows  with other advice agencies across Northern Ireland.  These are part of our Community Housing Advice Partnership (CHAP), which ensures that everyone has access to comprehensive housing advice

The roadshows are absolutely free and provide you with a great round up of the latest developments in housing in Northern Ireland.

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Practical tips

The Department for Social Development (DSD) has announced a public consultation on proposals to introduce developer contributions for social and affordable housing.  The consultation, Developer Contributions for Affordable Housing: Public Consultation, closes on 26 August 2014.

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Policy, Affordability

Belfast’s new Lord Mayor has joined local charity Housing Rights Service (HRS) as they celebrate 50 years of service by launching a vision of a Northern Ireland where everyone has a home.  

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A recent Judicial Review of the bedroom tax, supported by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has failed.  This Judicial Review was brought on the grounds that the policy was discriminatory as it does not allow for an additional bedroom where a child with disabilities needs overnight care.  The judgment stresses the importan

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Welfare Reform, Case law, Affordability, Legal