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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

September 2016

Housing Rights, with support from TDS NI, will be holding it’s annual conference on private renting in Northern Ireland on Tuesday 23 November 2016, in East Belfast Network Centre.

This one-day conference will examine best practice for the private rented sector across the UK and Ireland.

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Research, Private Tenancies, Policy

Housing Rights recently presented Ciaran and John*, currently in custody at HMP Magilligan, with certificates following their completion of a Housing Advice and Guidance qualification.

Housing Rights run a specialist housing advice and information service in prisons. In order to help meet the demand, we train Peer Prisoner Housing Advisers to help with initial stages of the service.

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Homelessness

New regulations have been issued delaying the introduction of the social sector size criteria, or ‘bedroom tax’, for housing benefit claimants in Northern Ireland.

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Legal

Private rented sector

To ask the Minister for Communities whether he has given consideration to introducing a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating requirement in order to rent out a domestic property, as will be the case in England and Wales from April 2018. Mr Steven Agnew, Green Party  AQW 2781/16-21

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NI Assembly

The complex issue of antisocial behaviour (ASB) in a housing context has been discussed several times in Housing Rights’ articles and through case reports. Providing advice and assistance to those affected by ASB is an important area of our work.

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Repossession, Social Tenancies

Housing Rights has a great new programme of courses running until December 2016, covering all aspects of delivering housing advice including welfare reform, housing debt, accessing housing, antisocial behavior and more.

All courses can be booked online, or by emailing training@housingrights.org.uk.

On Monday the Assembly debated the current Housing Selection Scheme, the system which determines to whom an offer of social housing is made.  The Assembly called on the Minister for Communities to bring forward a replacement to the scheme that would ensure a fairer and more transparent system of assessing need. 

Recent research reports by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Fabian Society have pointed to growing affordability concerns in the private rented sector, caused by changes and cuts to Housing Benefit.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Private Tenancies

Solicitor Carmel Ferguson looks at a recent judicial review into London Borough of Southwark’s refusal to allow an applicant to make a fresh application for homelessness assistance, after the applicant’s original application was unsuccessful.

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Homelessness, Case law, Legal