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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

June 2015

Our adviser Faith recently helped solve a serious financial problem for a vulnerable, elderly couple by asking the Ombudsman to investigate a decision taken by the Health & Social Care Trust.

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Social Tenancies, Practical tips, Adviser

The Social Housing Reform Programme (SHRP) is turning its attention to rent setting. Rent policy alignment focuses on the need to develop a fairer system of affordable rents in the social housing sector.  As a pre-consultation exercise, DSD recently attended our Housing Advice Practitioners’ Forum to present their early thoughts on social rent policy.

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Regulation, Policy, NI Assembly

Just like in Northern Ireland, the private rented sector in Scotland has grown in size over the last number of years. This is down to a number of factors including the reduction in the amount of social housing and financial difficulties faced by potential homeowners. The private rented sector is increasingly becoming the main housing option, willingly or not, for many people looking for a home.

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Policy

Dr Jenny Muir is a Lecturer in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen's University Belfast. Below she introduces findings from her latest research on involving easy to ignore groups , carried out with funding provided by Housing Rights. 

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Minority Groups, Research, Policy

Solicitor Carmel Ferguson explains when tenants are entitled to compensation for improvements they've carried out to their rented homes and how important it is to get written permission before starting work. 

Susan, a Housing Executive tenant, contacted us recently to find out what rights she had to compensation for improvements she had made to her property.

Housing Rights has responded to the Department for Social Development's consultation on Proposals for a New Regulatory Framework for Social Housing Providers in Northern Ireland. The key proposals in the consultation document are:

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Social Tenancies, Policy, NI Assembly

In a recent High Court case, Fernhill Properties v McCambridge [2015] NICh 9, the court decided that a purchaser of an apartment was not entitled to withdraw from the contract because the vendor had subsequently sold other apartments in the block to a housing association.

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Case law, Legal

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently released a paper that aims to broaden understanding and stimulate interest and debate around vulnerability. It also aims to provide practical help and resources to firms in developing and implementing a vulnerability strategy.

Mortgage Credit Directive & Time Orders

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Regulation

A local judge ordered an estate agent to return a tenant’s holding deposit once the agent decided not to proceed with the tenancy.  Housing Rights represented the tenant at small claims court.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Legal

A round up of housing related questions to the Minister for Social Development during May 2015. 

More funding secured for support to homeowners in negative equity

To ask the Minister for Social Development, in light of the recommendations of the Mortgage Taskforce, what support will be offered to home owners who find themselves in negative equity. Mrs Dolores Kelly (SDLP - Upper Bann) AQW 45510/11-15    

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Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Policy, NI Assembly

In today’s difficult economic climate many local households continue to struggle with debt.  Local charity Housing Rights is urging people not to put off dealing with mortgage debt and to get free independent advice as early as possible.

That is the key message of a new promotional campaign launched today by Housing Rights with the help of Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA.

Janet Hunter, Director with Housing Rights said: