Housing Rights recently responded to a call for evidence from the Social Development Committee in relation to the Housing (Amendment) Bill. The proposals in the Bill are significantly changed from what was expected following the original Housing (Antisocial Behaviour) Bill. We welcome that the Bill has omitted some of the more contentious proposals such as, for example, the introduction of a new Short Secure Tenancy, which was essentially a downgraded temporary tenancy for 6 months.
The Housing Executive and the regional Health and Social Care Trusts have agreed on good practice guidance for assisting homeless young people. The guidance, signed off earlier this year, is an attempt to ensure that young people in crisis receive the assistance they need as quickly as possible. Agencies who provide advice to young people should ensure that they know which agency is responsible for assisting young people in crisis.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has released a report on its assessment of the new requirement for landlords to establish whether tenants have a “right to rent” in the UK before granting a tenancy. The report is highly critical of the pilot scheme; JCVI’s evaluation uncovered a number of worrying direct and indirect impacts of these checks on both tenants and landlords.
Greater community cohesion is something that most people would like to see. Despite great efforts being made towards developing a peaceful society, it is disappointing that so many people are still living in divided communities. Housing Rights' advisers continue to deal with clients who are victims of intimidation and harassment or who are faced with a lack of shared social housing options. Addressing these housing issues is crucial to the development of greater community cohesion.
There are a number of schemes available to help people who are living with fuel poverty. It’s important to apply quickly if you are interested in these schemes as the funding can run out quite quickly if there are large demands on the grants.