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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Policy & Research

Our policy work is based on the experiences of people who contact us for advice. We work on their behalf to secure positive changes to housing legislation, policy and practice in Northern Ireland. You can read more about what we are striving to achieve in the coming year by downloading our policy priorities.

Below, you will find copies of policy briefings, consultation responses and research papers that Housing Rights has produced recently.

Housing Rights response to draft Programme for Government July 2016

Housing Rights is supportive of the broad ethos of the draft Framework in that the focus is on outcomes and achieved by cross departmental working.

However, Housing Rights is deeply concerned that the draft Framework, in its current form would fail to deliver change for those who need it most.
 

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Policy, NI Assembly

Housing Rights response to fitness consultation June 2016

Housing Rights believes  that the current fitness standard applied to housing in Northern Ireland is unsatisfactory and needs replaced in its entirety. It is insufficient to make amendments to the standard which do not directly link housing with health. We believe that an internationally recognised system of best practice currently exists in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System  and that the introduction of HHSRS would not only benefit householders and tenants across all tenures, but would be of particular benefit in addressing the problems facing some Section 75 groups.

This consultation response explains why Housing Rights believes that the HHSRS is the best option for making real improvements to the quality of housing and will tackle inequalities faced by those persons in Northern Ireland who are most at risk of poor housing.

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Fitness, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Policy

Response to a Review of Rate Liability in the Domestic Rental Sector

Housing Rights’ key concerns with the current system for domestic rates liability are in relation to affordability and transparency. 

Both these concerns are discussed in this response., along with specific comment on the proposals put forward by the Department in the consultation paper. 

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Regulation, Affordability, Legal

Response to consultation on Proposed Increase to Court Fees

Housing Rights welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Increase to Court Fees. The organisation acknowledges that court fees have not increased since 2007 and that this must have had an effect on the revenue streams of the NI Courts and Tribunals Services (NICTS). Therefore, it accepts that the NICTS must try to recoup the full cost of the services it provides. However, Housing Rights is concerned about the possible negative impact that any increase in fees may have on the ability of people to have access to justice.

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Policy

Changes to Support for Mortgage Interest: The Impact in Northern Ireland

Housing Rights’ work, in advising and supporting people at risk of losing their home through mortgage repossession, evidences the critical importance of timely access to Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) payments. These payments are vital in allowing low-income households to maintain their mortgage repayments and sustain their homes. 

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Benefits, Policy

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