Housing Rights Service is concerned about the new form of tenancy i.e. the Short Secure Tenancy (SST) which the DSD is proposing. We interpret the SST as a downgraded temporary tenancy for 6 months. After this time the SST either becomes secure again or possession is sought to bring the tenancy to an end using a largely administrative process. The court “would be required” to grant possession in such cases. In our view a system which allows for the removal of secure tenants’ rights by a largely administrative process runs contrary to the principle of natural justice and would interfere with human rights. Read our response.
Social housing is vitally important to many households in NI including many HRS clients who are vulnerable or have been homeless. However, Northern Ireland is in the midst of a severe social housing shortage with supply far outstripping demand. We now face the challenge not only of deciding how to increase this supply, but also how to allocate scarce accommodation to the ever increasing number of waiting list applicants. We believe the review of social housing allocation must include a wider policy debate on the purpose and functions of social housing. It needs to be decided whether social housing is fundamentally about addressing acute housing need and providing a safety net or whether is it also about meeting wider Government objectives, such as promoting economic regeneration.