Welfare Reform What Does It Mean for Me?

Report
Homelessness – What’s happening in
Northern Ireland?
Everything at once!
( and not a lot of it good)
The Three Main Events
Homelessness
Strategy for NI
2012 -2017
Housing Strategy
for NI 2012-2017
Housing Related
Support Strategy
2012-2015
Homelessness Strategy - Objectives
To place homelessness
prevention at the forefront of
service delivery
To remove the need to
sleep rough
To reduce the length of time households
& individuals experience homelessness
by improving access to affordable
housing
To improve services to
vulnerable households and
individuals
Housing Strategy - Themes
Ensuring access to decent,
affordable sustainable homes
across all tenures
Meeting housing needs and
supporting the most
vulnerable
Driving regeneration and
sustaining communities
through housing
Housing and Welfare
Reform
Getting the structures right
Housing Related Support
Commissioning
Quality and outcomes
Drive efficiency and value for
money
Early intervention
Client involvement and
personalisation
Accessing and exiting
services
And the rest....
Review of the NI Housing
Executive
Review of Temporary
Accommodation
Review of Social Housing
Allocation
Review of the Administration
of Supporting People
Review of Housing
Associations
Homelessness
Very little overt mention of
Supported Temp. Accommodation
Strategic function moving to DSD
away from NIHE
Possibility of most of SP funding
transferring to Health
Homelessness
Strategy
not
integrated
into
the
Housing
strategy
Introduction
of
competitive
tendering for SP funding
Move towards floating support and
the re-modelling of hostels
Any new allocation policy
social
housing
likely
disadvantage singles
for
to
The Elephant in the Room
Excess Payment Award
7,000 households
Under-occupation in Social
Housing
32,000 applicable
households
LHA drop to 30th percentile
53,000 households, with
approx 30,000 new applicants
per annum
SAR
5,300 claimants January
2012, 3,000 new claims p.a.
Non-dependent deductions
3,500
Benefit Cap
3,000 claimants
The housing market
Social housing
119,000 homes
90% of social housing stock
in single identity estates
20% of stock in PRS
84 HMOs in rural NI
5% of stock
1 bedroom across all tenures
8,400 HMOs
70% for students
15.2% of stock
2 bedrooms across all
tenures
continued
Banks not lending
House prices continue to fall
80% of HB paid directly to
landlords in both sectors
DHP potentially to be
subsumed into new Social
Fund. No mention of ringfencing housing costs
increased competition for PRS
and no need to reduce rents
£6.8m DHP to cover £24m
shortfall in just SAR &underoccupation which are current
priorities.
Homeless presentations up
21% in 1st quarter 2012/13surprise!
The overall picture
24% of workers in NI below
the living wage of £7.20 per
hour. Highest in UK
60% population have IT
access. Lowest rate among
unemployed
Lowest rate of broadband
coverage in the UK
12% households do not
have bank account
which allows money to be paid
in or DDs to be paid out.
36% of social tenants have
NO bank account
32,500 households
Estimated NI will take 10
1600 public sector jobs to
go due to Universal Credit
more years to come out of
recession
continued
46% of private landlords
were unaware of the changes
to LHA after it was introduced
No tenants in social housing
have been formally made
aware of the change in HB for
under-occupation
60% of tenants
knew nothing of LHA changes
at all, until they were informed
of a drop in their entitlement
WR Bill aiming for Royal
Assent March 2013
Under-occupation to be
implemented April 2013
A little good news..
Direct payment of housing
costs to landlords to
continue
Universal credit
delayed for 6 months
Split payments in
households
Consideration of 6 month
delay in implementing
Under-occupation
Fortnightly payments of
universal credit
May chuck it completely!
The disconnect
Very little acknowledgement
of the impact of WR on the
new Strategies – or even
mature reflection
Severely restricted budgets,
ideological change and the
prevention agenda
Dependency on the PRS in a
time of housing ‘bust’
Rhetoric of affordability as
unemployment rises, there
is no more work or better
paid work – or even a work
programme for NI
Likely consequences
Homelessness will increase
Temporary accommodation
will change in form and
function
Policy development likely to
‘follow the money’
Housing policy in NI will be
adapted to fit Westminster
legislation
New vision for the purpose
of social housing

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