Housing Rights believes that access to justice is paramount in any democracy. The consultation paper sets out the cost of some of the areas which are proposed to be removed from Legal Aid and Advice (Green Form). Those areas which cover housing related issues, which HRS would be concerned with, amount to a small percentage of the overall Green Form expenditure. Despite it being a small proportion of the overall expenditure, removing such funding could have a devastating effect on the lives of people who potentially need this assistance. Therefore, we strongly feel that the funding of housing related cases should be protected.
Housing Rights Service has produced a briefing paper on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as a means for determining the fitness of residential properties in Northern Ireland. Although the levels of unfitness in NI have fallen over the last number of years, the standard by which fitness is measured is of a very basic level meaning that many properties whilst passing the fitness standard may still be viewed as unsuitable for living in.